Logo for Van Buren Middle College Program.

The Van Buren Middle College (VBMC) is an accelerated college program designed to allow a student to complete a high school diploma and up to a full associates degree or college certification at the same time over the course of three years (Grades 11, 12, and one additional year sometimes referred to as year 13 or the “5th year”).  Through this innovative program, students will be able to save both time and money as they get a head start on their postsecondary careers.

The VBMC is structured so that students gradually increase their exposure to college courses throughout the three year program.  Students apply to the program in grade 10 and take part in a competitive admissions process which includes an application, college assessment, and an interview.  Those selected for admission then follow one of two program tracks:

  • Track one students attend Van Buren Tech in grade 11 for part of their day and participate in one of the county’s CTE programs, and then spend the other part of their day back at the high school; then during grades 12 & “13” students attend one of our local college partners for classes.  

  • Track two students attend a local college partner for part of their day and their high school for part of their day in grades 11 and 12; then during grade “13” they attend the local college partner full time.

The VBMC is designed to be a robust bridge between high school, college, and a student’s future career.  The program seeks to provide students with a rich college experience, along with an excellent opportunity for targeted and specific career and technical education; students participate in intense mentoring throughout the program to ensure their success.  Students who successfully complete the VBMC will have a jump-start on their college education and a clearer path to their future.  VBMC is a good fit for students that are motivated, looking for a unique and robust educational experience, and are ready for the challenge of life as a college student.


  • Reduces overall cost of college education to students

  • Prepares students for high-demand, high-wage careers

  • Accelerates the completion of a license/certification/ college degree

  • Provides opportunities for internships, education, job shadowing, and clinical experience

  • Provides challenging and relevant coursework to help students engage in the learning process

  • Continuous one-on-one mentoring for a seamless transition to college


  • 10th grade: Complete the admissions process

  • Summer between 10th and 11th grade: Complete College Success Bootcamp

  • 11th grade: Students will begin their college coursework – either through their CTE program at Van Buren Tech, or through enrolling in college courses

  • 12th grade: Students will continue to take a combination of high school and college courses (Number of college credits will be determined on an individual basis)

  • “13th” year: Students will enroll as a full time college student.  Students must take a least one course for high school credit each semester (This may be a college course).  Students will also be required to complete a final portfolio project as part of their program graduation requirements

Admissions Requirements:

  • Must be a current high school sophomore from a Van Buren County school district

  • Must take the college AccuPlacer assessment

  • Must have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.5

  • If admitted, must complete College Success Bootcamp

  • Please keep in mind, this is a competitive admissions process