Baldwin students get head start on college career

Five incoming juniors accepted into West Shore Community College's ASM Tech Early College High

BALDWIN — Five incoming juniors at Baldwin Jr/Sr High School have been accepted into the ASM Tech Early College High School (ASM Tech).

ASM Tech is a partnership between West Shore Community College (WSCC), West Shore ESD, and 12 area high schools, including Baldwin Community Schools.

Students in the program spend their senior year of high school and one additional year at WSCC earning college credits. At the end of the program, they graduate with their high school diploma and either earn their associate’s degree or credits they can use to transfer to another college, university, trade school or other post-secondary program.

“The early college program is a wonderful opportunity for students to get a head start on their post-secondary careers and earn college credits at no charge while also earning their high school diploma,” Baldwin Jr/Sr High School Principal Stewart Nasson said. “The program allows students to challenge themselves academically and receive individualized support in their transition to college life. ASM Tech works with the students to help them follow the career path they have chosen.”

While they take all their classes at WSCC, the students are still able to participate in high school sports, attend prom and walk with their class at graduation, though they do not officially receive their diplomas until they complete the ASM Tech program the following year.

Once they complete the program, graduates may also receive scholarships through the Baldwin Promise, a program that provides up to $5,000 per year for up to five years to all eligible Baldwin graduates to be used at trade schools, public universities, community colleges or private colleges in Michigan.

Students apply for ASM Tech when they are sophomores and officially begin the program their senior year. Applicants must meet certain grade and testing requirements, as well as submit essays, letters of recommendation and complete a family interview. 

Participating high schools are typically allotted two spots each year. Baldwin was able to select five students for the 2023-24 school year as some other area high schools did not fill their allotted spots.

The following Baldwin students have been accepted into ASM Tech for the 2023-24 school year:

  • Naomi Marsh Robinson 
  • Chris Brien
  • Bobby Champagne
  • Briar Payne
  • Leila Haznedarevic

Baldwin student Jennika Cook graduated from the program this month. Incoming seniors Gabe Vandergeld and Autumn Heighton will begin taking classes through ASM Tech next school year. 

“We are proud to offer this program to our students,” Baldwin Community Schools Superintendent David Forrester said. “This program provides the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree at an accelerated pace at no cost to our students and families.”