Alpena Community College draws more Northeast Michiganders than other schools

News Photo by Temi Fadayomi Alpena High School students who have committed to attending Alpena Community College for career technical education pose for a photo during an Alpena Public Schools-ACC CTE Signing Day event on Thursday.

ALPENA — Twenty-one Alpena High School students on Thursday during a Career and Technical Education Signing Day event committed to taking CTE courses at Alpena Community College.

Programs such as CTE are among the reasons ACC remains the college of choice for graduating students in Northeast Michigan.

State data shows that 92 of 413 students who graduated from Alpena Public Schools, Alcona Community Schools, Hillman Community Schools, Atlanta Community Schools, Rogers City Community Schools, Onaway Area Schools, and Posen Consolidated Schools last year decided to go to ACC.

The Alpena college enrolled more Northeast Michigan students than any other college, the state data shows.

ACC was the top school of choice for graduates from all Northeast Michigan schools except Posen and Onaway.

ACC Director of Admissions Mike Kollien said the school’s location, its comparatively smaller class sizes, and its relative affordability led Northeast Michigan students to enroll.

“We’re here, it’s convenient, and it’s close to home,” Kollien said. “Our class sizes are smaller. When they raise their hand in class, the instructor calls on them, and they get the attention they deserve. Of course, the cost of a community college is much less. Your dollar would go further here, and financial aid will cover more.”

Kollien also said ACC’s focus on immediately applicable skills draws students to the Alpena school.

“We get a lot of students to come here for our technical programs, (such as) our automotive, welding, nursing … or electrical or utility line worker programs,” Kollien said. “When you’re done at ACC, you’ve got those valuable employability skills to go to work. You’ve got certificates and credentials, and we have a lot of great programs that ACC that students get into nowadays, to get those skills and they’re able to go off to work and become a quality, productive member of society.”

Kollien said a big focus of ACC officials to further attract local students is the expansion of on-campus housing.

“We’re looking to try and expand our housing,” said Kollien. “Housing is a challenge sometimes for students, so the college has housing, it’s full. So we’re hoping to try and get more housing in the near future.”

The students who attended the CTE Signing Day event received a $250 scholarship to assist with educational expenses associated with a program of study.


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