Enrollment for the Great Lakes Bay Early College (GLBEC) program is now open for all upcoming high school sophomores and juniors within the Great Lakes Bay Region living in Bay, Midland, Saginaw, and surrounding counties for the 2021-2022 school year. Early college students have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, certifications, and college credits simultaneously at no cost to the student.Great Lakes Bay Early College continues to increase student enrollment year-over-year. The number of Michigan students enrolling in Early/Middle College programs has increased 101 percent in the past four years, as reported in December 2019 by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). MDE defines early college as a program “designed to allow a pupil to earn a high school diploma and one of the following; 60 transferable college credits, an associate degree, a professional certification, the Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate, or the right to participate in a registered apprenticeship. A professional certification is any certificate or industry-recognized credential in which the pupil prepared for by taking coursework provided by a Michigan public or private college or university.”Kevin Summey, Program Coordinator of Great Lakes Bay Early College, stated, “Great Lakes Bay Early College is an extraordinary educational experience for all interested participants. Every student receives a personalized educational plan tailored to meet his or her specific needs. The number of college credits earned can potentially equate to more than $18,000 of realized savings to learners and their families. Students of the Great Lakes Bay Region that are interested and motivated in pursuing postsecondary education just need to take advantage of this wonderful program.”Early College is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an approved five-year program of study. This means that students remain in GLBEC one year beyond traditional high school for a 13th year to complete program requirements. Enrolled students are given the opportunity to earn credentials at no cost prior to high school graduation, which in turn reduces student loan debt. Students are also able to take advantage of exploring their favorite career pathways through job shadowing with employers who are seeking talented hires. Further intangible benefits of GLBEC include; early collegiate and post-secondary experience, philanthropic community service opportunities, state-of-the-art facility access, and developing life-long relationships with peers, mentors, and teachers.Interested students and parents are invited to attend GLBEC informational meetings held Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates: January 14th, February 11th, February 25th, March 18th, April 8th, May 6th, and June 3rd.Great Lakes Bay Early College is a program of the Saginaw Intermediate School District in partnership with Bay Arenac Intermediate School District, Midland County Educational Service Agency, Saginaw Valley State University, and Delta College. Download the following e-Brochure to learn more: http://bit.ly/38f9odx. Register to attend an information session here: http://bit.ly/37xMHkm.