Ukiah Unified School District is proud to announce the graduation of the first cohort of their Middle College program, a groundbreaking partnership between Ukiah High School (UHS) and Mendocino College. Middle College is a UHS program located on the Mendocino College campus. Ukiah Unified launched the first cohort of 10th-grade students in the fall of 2018, and those students are now set to graduate with Ukiah High School on Saturday, June 5th, 2021.
Twenty-five Middle College seniors will graduate after three years of hard work. These seniors earned 35 admissions across fifteen different colleges and universities. Twelve graduates have elected to remain at Mendocino College for the Fall 2021 term, and thirteen have enrolled at the University of California and California State Colleges around the state. One graduate will be attending Montana State University.
Ukiah Unified director of Alternative Education Scott Paulin said, "Students in our Middle College Program gain the best of both high school and college." Seventy-two Middle College students will begin daily Ukiah High School classes at the Mendocino College campus in August instead of at the high school campus. Paulin explained that they accept a maximum of 30 students per grade level, so students will experience all the benefits of a small, caring school environment during the school day and still attend UHS social events or compete in UHS athletics if they want to.
One Middle College senior had this to say, "I Loved that there was a small group of students through the three years that I could get comfortable with, and it helped me get comfortable speaking in class, etc. I feel totally prepared to meet the challenges at U.C. Merced when I go in the fall."
Another added, "I really liked how the teachers provided personalized help, but the students also have lots of time where they were forced to be independent and develop the ability to manage their own academic life. It also helped my family since the program paid for the books and fees."
All college fees and textbook costs are paid for by the Middle College. The program allows the flexibility to take up to 11 units of college courses each semester, and many take full advantage of the opportunity. "I feel like I got experience in college classes that I would not have if I stayed at the high school. Now I feel really prepared to go to college. I liked getting to know the college professors, and the vibe of Middle College that was more professional and having peers who focused on getting their work done," commented one Middle College Senior.
Middle College students have maintained an impressive group Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.55 in their college courses and have racked up over 1000 credit hours since the program began in 2018. These students are learning in classes that run the gamut at Mendocino College from Calculus/Analytical Geometry to Ballet and from Computer Science to Psychology.
"We are all extremely proud of our Middle College graduates," said Ukiah Unified Superintendent Deb Kubin. "It takes a lot of effort to earn a high school diploma while attending college at the same time, and these students have shown they have what it takes to be successful in whatever they want to accomplish in life. Thank you to our wonderful partners at Mendocino College who have made this possible, along with the great work of our Alternative Education Director, Scott Paulin. I also want to thank the Middle College teaching staff and UHS Assistant Principal Yareli Macias for accomplishing such a great program for our students."
Most middle college students will complete anywhere from 30 – 60 college credits by the time they finish high school. With the average annual cost of tuition, books, and fees at the University of California at approximately $18,000 and climbing fast, Middle College students can realize significant savings on their college education. The Middle College program is available for any 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Contact UUSD director of Alternative Education, Scott Paulin, to find out more or request an application at email@example.com.