Middle College at Fairmont State University

Middle College at Fairmont State University in West Virginia

An On-Campus, Dual-Degree Academic Program for High School Youth in Foster Care

At KVC West Virginia, we believe in the power of education to transform lives. That’s why we’ve partnered with Fairmont State University to create Middle College at Fairmont State University. This innovative program serves as an opportunity for West Virginia youth to embark on a distinct pathway to success. Middle College is more than just an academic program; it acts as a crucial bridge between high school and college and is exclusively dedicated to serving the unique needs of youth in foster care.

In American education, middle colleges are recognized as innovative programs that empower high school students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree or college credit toward a bachelor’s degree. What sets Middle College at Fairmont State University apart is our commitment to creating a supportive and nurturing environment for youth in foster care. Our dedicated team walks alongside students, creating an atmosphere where they not only excel academically but also navigate the challenges of adolescence and higher education with confidence.

Welcome to Middle College, where dreams soar to new heights.

What is Middle College at Fairmont State University?

Middle College at Fairmont State University logo

Middle College at Fairmont State University is a specialized on-campus program created exclusively for West Virginia youth in foster care. If you or someone you know is 16 years old or older and ready to embark on a life-changing academic journey, explore Middle College at Fairmont State University!

Some key features of Middle College at Fairmont State University include:

  • The program is open to youth ages 16 and older who are currently in West Virginia foster care.
  • Participants live on Fairmont State’s cozy campus year-round.
  • All tuition, fees, and campus living expenses are fully funded.
  • KVC provides community-based support services and round-the-clock on-campus assistance at no cost to participating students, creating a nurturing environment where students can excel.
  • Students who graduate from Middle College will be better prepared to enter the job market or continue their college education.

Upon graduation, Middle College students will earn both a high school diploma and a two-year associate degree (or 2 years of college credit toward a bachelor’s degree).

What Makes Middle College at Fairmont State University Unique

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We recognize the unique challenges that youth in foster care may encounter on their journey to success. In West Virginia, youth in foster care have significantly lower high school graduation rates compared to youth who haven’t experienced foster care. Only 62% of youth in foster care graduate high school, in contrast to 91% of youth with no foster care involvement. Nationwide, only 3% of youth who have experienced foster care graduate college.

Without proper support, youth who grow up in foster care often experience:

  • Additional trauma
  • Low educational attainment
  • High rates of young parenthood
  • Unemployment
  • Homelessness
  • Reliance on public assistance
  • Incarceration

KVC’s dedicated team of residence hall staff, case managers, therapists, and specialized supervisory staff, provides 24/7 on-campus support and mentorship. We advocate and provide for students’ academic and therapeutic needs to ensure their safety, permanence, and wellbeing. When students graduate Middle College, they’ll have a high school diploma and an associate degree in hand, along with KVC’s trauma-informed foster care and mental healthcare, Middle College students who would otherwise experience poor life outcomes can create a future full of promise.

With an unwavering commitment and a distinctive support system, Middle College at Fairmont State University becomes a space where young people not only navigate their way to adulthood but also turn their dreams into reality.

Curriculum

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Participants at Middle College embark on a unique academic journey where they not only earn credits toward their high school degree but also pursue a two-year associate degree. The curriculum aligns with West Virginia’s high school graduation requirements, which require a minimum of 22 credits.

This comprehensive curriculum covers a variety of subjects, including:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Physical education
  • Health
  • The arts
  • Electives

Through this carefully crafted academic approach and Fairmont State’s highly qualified instructors, Middle College ensures that students not only meet state graduation standards but also gain a robust foundation for future academic and career plans.

Life at Fairmont State University

Middle College at Fairmont State University doesn’t just focus on academics. It provides an immersive college experience for high-school age students. With on- and off-campus student life activities, Middle College educates and enriches students’ lives. Here’s what students can expect:

  • "MiddleAdvanced academic programming
  • On-campus, student life activities including clubs, volunteer opportunities and more
  • Access to performing arts and Fairmont State University athletic events
  • Special student life programming, including live music events, fairs, ice-cream socials, etc.
  • Use of Falcon Center recreational services, such as the indoor track, swimming pool, treadmills and more
  • Off-campus group trips to visual and performing arts venues, trips to cities like Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C., athletic events, and outdoor adventures like skiing and whitewater rafting

Is Middle College Right for You or a Student You Know?

If you or a student you know is looking for an academic challenge, lifelong friendships and the opportunity to explore independence, then the answer is “Yes!”

Middle College is not a high school on a college campus. It is an opportunity for youth to participate in college classes and campus life while earning an associate degree and a high school diploma at the same time.

It’s not a transitional living program either. Middle College is an opportunity for youth to build strong bonds with their peers and receive a unique education specifically tailored to set them on a path to a successful life and career.

Who is Eligible?

To participate in Middle College at Fairmont State University, a student must:

  • be 16 years old or older;
  • currently be in West Virginia foster care;
  • get referred by Child Protective or Youth Services or another supportive adult (e.g., a Department of Human Services (formerly DHHR) case worker, a parent or relative caregiver, a teacher, a school guidance counselor, and/or a child placing agency worker);
  • meet academic requirements; and
  • demonstrate interest in and ability to successfully complete Middle College.

Learn More or Apply to Middle College

Ready to begin this exciting, life-changing journey? If you want to learn more about Middle College, please visit Fairmont State University’s website. Note that you must be 18 years or older to fill out the form. If you are under 18, have your parent, caregiver, or another supportive adult fill out the form on your behalf.

Make a referral to Middle College

If you’re not sure if you or a youth you know is eligible, please contact us.

Partner Information

fairmont state university logoFairmont State is a comprehensive, regional university that has been transforming lives and communities for over 150 years. Fairmont State offers over 40 degree programs and over 100 fields of study in the arts, humanities and sciences, aviation, engineering and technology, teacher education, nursing, and business administration.

Learn more at fairmontstate.edu.

 

To support the future of this program and ensure youth in foster care have the resources they need, consider making a donation. Visit kvcwv.org/donate and select “Middle College at Fairmont State University” as the designation.