Monday, February 19, 2024

Lakeview student excelling in Early College at MCC


Jack Snyder, 17, of Lakeview, wants to be a special agent with the FBI.

The Early College program at Montcalm Community College is helping him reach that goal.

“I’m currently working toward a degree in criminal justice from MCC through the MiTransfer Pathway option,” Snyder said. “This allows me to get my basic classes done and out of the way, and then transfer to a four-year university.”

Early College enables juniors from participating high schools in the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District to complete high school while taking college classes. They may earn up to two years of college credit or an associate degree as part of their high school learning experience.

“The Early College program stood out to me because of how efficient and cost-effective it was for me,” he said. “I knew after high school I wanted to go on to college and get my bachelor’s and MCC offered a way for me to get a foot ahead of my peers with no extra cost.”

Snyder said his favorite part of the program is the independence it gives. He said students are treated as adults and that is a change from high school.

Snyder’s favorite classes at MCC are his criminal justice classes because of how they relate to his degree.

“One of my favorite classes I’ve had is Introduction to Criminal Justice with Kevin Sweeney,” he said. “Not only was the class very enjoyable, but a lot of discussions took place in that class where I had to apply critical thinking skills to find a good answer, not to mention the material was also interesting to me.”

In the Early College program, each student is partnered with a mentor to help them along the way.

“While I was not a big fan of having a mentor, I quickly realized how helpful it was to have someone who was familiar with the process,” Snyder said. “My mentor, David Pyle, has helped me through not only college-level classes, but also personal dilemmas that I’ve dealt with.”

Pyle, who also is an instructor in the Early College program, said Snyder is a strong student and isn’t afraid to ask questions.

“All in all, Jack is a polite, punctual and focused student,” Pyle said. “I am sure he will do well out in the ‘real world’ representing the Early College Program and MCC in a positive manner.”

One of the most challenging things for Snyder was acclimating to the college environment. He also said planning and prioritizing the workload took some getting used to.

“It’s hard coming from a high school where you know everybody to go to a new environment where there are separate buildings for separate classes and you’re meeting new students, but also after your first year you’re also meeting new professors with different standards,” he said.

The Early College program allows students to get a step ahead of their peers, Snyder said.

“It is also very cost-effective because the Early College program is no cost to the students,” he said. “You have two full years of college for free and not many people can graduate with an associate degree and say that they got it for free.”

In his free time, Snyder likes to workout, hunt, fish, and play with his dog.

He would recommend the Early College program to his peers because of all the opportunities it offers.

“I would strongly recommend anyone who is even interested in the idea of it to go to a parent meeting and find out a little bit more about the program,” Snyder said.


Media contact:
Shelly Springborn
Director of Communications and Public Relations