Alpena Early College

Bridging the gap between high school and college, Alpena Early College give students a unique opportunity that goes beyond dual enrollment. Through a partnership between Alpena Public Schools and Alpena Community College, students can complete their high school diploma AND receive a college degree at the same time.

Students entering grade 11 in the fall semester are eligible to apply. Once enrolled, students take classes at both Alpena High School and Alpena Community College. As members of their Early College cohort, they may go through high school commencement with their classmates in 12th grade, but then stay on for an additional year to complete a full schedule of "13th grade" classes, including one final high school class and their college credits to earn their degree or certificate.

This unique and exciting opportunity offers:

  • Three year-accelerated program for grades 11-13
  • High school classes plus college courses
  • College campus experience
  • High school diploma
  • Up to 60 transferable credits and/or an Associates Degree or recognized certificate
  • All fees and costs paid by Alpena Public Schools


  • Students apply in spring of their 10th grade year and begin in fall of 11th grade.
  • Must meet ACC enrollment guidelines
  • Preparing for pathways compatible with Alpena Community College offerings:
    • Manufacturing
    • Marketing/Business Systems
    • Sciences (From Agri-science to Allied Health)
  • Preference will be given to students who will be the first in their family to attend college or who meet the free and reduced lunch qualifications.

While enrolled as part of the Alpena Early College program, students have a combined high school and college experience that is truly the "best of both worlds." They participate in prom, sports, senior year activities and high school commencement just like the rest of their class, but they also receive an ACC student ID and are eligible to take part in ACC student activities, too.

For more information please contact the Alpena Early College coordinator:

Lee Fitzpatrick
Phone: (989) 358-5043

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: This program sounds too good to be true. Is it for real?
A: Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but it is true! As a matter of fact, over 40 similar programs are already being offered throughout Michigan. Alpena Public Schools is proud to partner with Alpena Community College to bring this innovative opportunity to northeast Michigan.

Q: How many college credits can be earned through the Early College program?
A: The number of credits a student can earn depends on several factors. Students are expected to earn at least 15, but it is possible to earn up to 60 transferable college credits!

Q: Can students in Early College play high school sports?
A: Yes! Students may participate in high school sports through their 12th grade year subject to the same eligibility requirements as all other students.

Q: Do Alpena Early College students graduate with their AHS senior class?
A: Yes! Students participate in their senior year activities and 12th grade commencement along with their class. However, their diploma is given when they complete one final high school class in 13th grade.

Q: Who pays for tuition, fees and books for the ACC courses?
A: Alpena Public Schools covers all tuition, fees and textbook costs for students enrolled in Alpena Early College. Students can graduate from high school and ACC debt free!

Q: Do students follow the AHS schedule or the ACC schedule?
A: Both! Classes at Alpena High School will follow the same schedule and calendar as the rest of the district, while ACC classes will follow the ACC schedule and calendar. It is important to note that there will be differences in the start and end dates, as well as some vacation dates.

Q: What about transportation between AHS and ACC?
A: Families are responsible to provide transportation.

Q: Will students have to take night classes?
A: It is likely that students will need to take one or more of their college classes outside the traditional high school day schedule, so families should be prepared for this.

Q: Are the ACC classes specially tailored for high school students?
A: Early College students will be in regular ACC classes open to all ACC students. Discussions, assignments and research requirements will be at the discretion of the college instructor and may include adult or controversial subjects.

Q: What support is available for high school students as they navigate the world of college?
A: Students in the Early College cohort will have access to high school counselors and the Early College Coordinator. Also, there is a 3-day required orientation at ACC in August to help prepare students to be successful.

Q: Does the Alpena Early College program follow the Michigan Merit Curriculum?
A: Yes! Students complete all the requirements established by Alpena Public Schools to meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Q: How can I learn more?
A: Call Coordinator Lee Fitzpatrick 989-358-5043 or email to explore whether this unique opportunity is right for you. You can also visit the Michigan Department of Education Early/Middle College information page.

Alpena Early College, Alpena Public Schools, Alpena Community College