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Middle College at Austin Peay State University holds 2018 Graduation


Middle College at Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Middle College at Austin Peay State University gathered recently for its 10th commencement ceremony, as faculty, friends and family watched 62 students receive their diplomas in APSU’s Dunn Center.

Melissa Champion-Emerson, Middle College APSU Principal, took a few minutes to proudly speak of her graduating seniors.

Middle College at Austin Peay State University held it's 10th commencement ceremony in the APSU's Dunn Center.

Middle College at Austin Peay State University held it’s 10th commencement ceremony in the APSU’s Dunn Center.

“The class of 2018 is amazing, they have an average ACT score of 25.5, and they have already earned $3.75 million in scholarships,” Champion-Emerson said. “Their experience at Middle College is really two-fold. Students get accustomed to college life through a slow transition, rather than being dropped suddenly into a dramatically different academic environment.”

Champion-Emerson says each Middle College graduate starts college with between 18 and 24 credit-hours earned, but more than that, they have obtained the readiness skills to be successful.

“It doesn’t cost more for students to attend Middle College, and it gives them a bit of a head start,” Champion-Emerson said. “We get funding from CMCSS, and a multitude of other funding sources in partnership with APSU, and also through the state’s dual enrollment grant program.”

The students’ pursuits are as varied as they are. They are taking classes in everything from art to STEM. Champion-Emerson says, every major you can think of, someone is doing it.

“We don’t have a wait list, it’s more about finding the right fit,” Champion-Emerson said. “We’re not like traditional schools. We have entrance requirements just like a college would. Also, we don’t have sports or other traditional activities that anchor students. Our students want a different atmosphere and that’s what we provide. We focus on academics, community service, and leadership.

“All our classes, whether high school or college level, are conducted on the APSU campus, so we have access to their chemistry lab, for example. Resources like that help make our students very successful.”

The Class of 2018 didn’t have a traditional Salutatorian or Valedictorian, instead several students were chosen to present words of insight, inspiration and reflection. Meridith Register, Kiley Evans, Taj Pahman, Josiah Baker, Claira Dowdy, and Austin Stewart each took their turn at the podium.

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