Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Greenville student enjoys freedom in Early College at MCC


Kyran DeLong learns best in an environment that allows him freedom. 

That’s a big reason why he enrolled in Early College at Montcalm Community College. 

The 16-year-old from Greenville said he was drawn to the program in part because he is going to college for free while in high school and that is helping him get ahead on his college education. He also prefers the college atmosphere over high school. Plus, he is glad to be at the institution where his dad, Kenric DeLong, enjoyed a 43-year career as a political science instructor. 

“I have more freedom here and that’s how I succeed in a learning environment,” DeLong said. 

Early College at MCC is a free program that allows students to leave their home high school to attend MCC for three years starting their junior year. Upon graduation, they receive their high school diploma and an associate degree or certificate from MCC. During their time in Early College, they may still attend activities at their home high school as well as maintain involvement in high school athletics. 

DeLong said he loves the freedom he has at MCC. 

“Holding myself accountable is the way I learn best,” he said. “The schedule is better, too.” 

Instead of being in school for eight hours a day, his days vary from five to six hours. 

“It feels like less,” DeLong said. “It’s definitely less stressful than high school. You don’t have the social part to worry about.” 

When he’s not in class, DeLong enjoys playing basketball, hanging out with friends and listening to music. He finds solace on campus at the college’ fitness center, gym and library. 

“Working out offers a distraction to get my mind off schoolwork,” he said. 

DeLong is working toward a career as a math teacher and is taking all of the math and education classes he can.  

“I would like to teach high school or college math,” he said. “That’s when I started to like math, when it got difficult.” 

He plans to transfer to Michigan State University after finishing at MCC. He said it will be difficult, but achievable. His favorite class at MCC is Math 180 – Precalculus. 

“Dan Long is easily the best instructor I’ve had here,” DeLong said. “He uses collaborative learning. He’s definitely been very influential. It seems like there are no wrong answers in his class. He always makes you feel validated.” 

Lori Willett is another instructor he said had an impact on him. 

“She was the first teacher who got me out of the English is bad train of thought,” he said. 

DeLong said the most challenging part so far was fall semester 2023 – his first semester in the program.  

“It was extremely mentally draining,” he said. “There was a lot of homework.” 

However, DeLong strongly recommends the program to others. 

“If you have an independent learning style, want to get ahead and might have financial issues, the Early College program is for you,” he said. “Everything is provided for you. All you have to do is show up. 

“The program itself is amazing. It just takes dedication,” he added. 


Media contact:
Shelly Springborn
Director of Communications and Public Relations