Middle College students with Wildcat statue


What is Middle College?

A tuition-free early college program that enables students from Marquette and Alger Counties to earn a high school diploma and up to 44 college credits toward an NMU associate degree or a technical certificate at no cost to students or their families. It also provides a gradual, structured and supported transition from high school to college, resulting in greater college success and more residents with high-quality degrees and credentials.     

Who can participate?

The Middle College exists for all students, from the 4.0 student who needs a challenge to those students who have traditionally been underserved, especially those who are unengaged and at risk of dropping out of high school, economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students.

How does it work?

Students apply during the second semester of their high school sophomore year. They are required to submit an essay, letters of recommendation and, along with their parents, participate in an interview.

This educational option is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between local school districts, the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, Northern Michigan University, the Eagle Mine, Michigan Works! and other business and industry partners. The MATMC is funded through a combination of local, state and federal funding sources, grants and corporate/business/community sponsorships.  

What Certificates/Degrees Can Students Earn?

All middle college graduates will earn the Michigan Early and Middle College Association Certificate. Currently, students have the option of pursuing one of the following associate degrees from NMU:

Health Sciences Academy 

  • Clinical Laboratory Technology
  • Nursing
  • Radiography
  • Surgical Technology

Professional Trades Academy

  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Building Technology (Construction)
  • Climate Control Technology - HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
  • CNC/Machine Tool Technology
  • Electrical Line Technician
  • Electrical Technology
  • Hospitality and Restaurant Operations
  • Industrial Maintenance (ladder up from welding certificate)

Information Technology Academy

  • Information Assurance and Cyber Defense (Cybersecurity)

The Middle College is a part of the Northern Promise. Northern Michigan University is making a promise to the Upper Peninsula to work with high schools, students, parents, and business and industry to provide every U.P. high school student with the opportunity to complete college credits prior to high school graduation at no tuition cost to students.​​​​ ​​​As a Middle College student, you can potentially save $5,000 to $10,000 (depending on which post-secondary institution and whether room and board is included) by decreasing time to degree by just one semester or 15-16 college credits. Visit The Northern Promise for more information.


Eagle Mine Logo

Middle College Funding

While the primary source of funding for the Technical Middle College is provided by the State of Michigan, Eagle Mine’s commitment to the program is $550,000 over six years (2015 to 2020). Eagle Mine’s initial support of $50,000 in 2015 was used to supplement the state per-pupil funding, resulting in no cost to the student or their families to participate in the program.

Beginning in 2016, Eagle Mine is making an annual contribution of $100,000, with $50,000 of it being used to directly support the program and the other $50,000 being used to establish an endowment fund. This model of funding aims to sustain the program long after Eagle Mine ceases operation.


Jessica Barber

Don't Just Take it From Us

“I was accepted into the first cohort of the Marquette Alger Technology Middle College in 2014 and it was one of the best experiences of my academic career. The Middle College helped me to earn my degrees faster by allowing me to earn a significant number of college credits while still in high school. It also provided me with an excellent team of individuals who had resources to help me succeed in higher education.

I graduated from Northern Michigan University magna cum laude and earned both my Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology and my Bachelor’s of Science in December 2018. I am now continuing at NMU, taking prerequisite courses so that I can pursue my goal of attending Physician Assistant School.

I also work at UP Health System Marquette as a unit clerk in the Family Birthing Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I enjoy working alongside the skilled nurses and doctors because I learn something new every day
and I can help provide health care for the community. Being a student inthe Middle College opened doors for me and provided me with amazing opportunities!”

Jessica Barber, MATMC Class of 2017 (pictured)

“Jessica has been a pleasure to work with and she has obviously been well trained and has a strong work ethic. Because of this experience, I would recommend hiring other students from this program!”

Anne Loman, R.N. and Supervisor

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