Hamilton County School Board members are expected to approve a new name for Middle College High School at Chattanooga State. At Thursday's meeting, the Board will be asked to vote on the following statement:
Please consider this request to approve a name change for Middle College, located on the Chattanooga State Campus. The proposed new name for the school is Hamilton County Collegiate High at Chattanooga State.
Administration from Hamilton County Department of Education and Chattanooga State Technical Community College believe that this recommended name change better reflects the nature and purpose of the school as it transitions to a 9–12 program.
The Middle College High School at Chattanooga State has been in existence since 2001, but remains one of Hamilton County's best kept secrets, according to those who know it best. The school currently has an enrollment of 110 students in grades 10-12, but is expected to begin admitting 9th graders in the 2014-15 school year.
Aubrey Gardin will graduate in May at the age of 17 with a high school diploma, plus an associate degree, allowing her to enter the prestigious nursing program at UTK with two years of college under her belt.
She only found out about the program two years ago, while a sophomore at Soddy-Daisy High. She said, "Soddy-Daisy is a great school, but I was looking for new challenges, and this was perfect. The atmosphere gives you more freedom, but with that comes more responsibility, and I needed that."
She's the first to admit the program isn't for everyone, an opinion that is seconded by Middle College coordinator Dr. Sonja Rich. "We have room for more students," she said, "but you have to really be committed to the work and the discipline needed to succeed. Students need a minimum score of 19 on the ACT, and the willingness and ability to pay college tuition. But we have more than a hundred success stories every year, and we would like to see more.
The school has only one dedicated classroom, so students take most of their classes with college students at Chattanooga State. The school's average ACT score for last year's senior class was 24.1, with an GPA of 3.6, ranking it among the state's highest.
The campus is wireless, so students are encouraged to bring their own tech devices. The dress code is college-style, but since students are still high school age, their attendance and tardiness are still monitored by school officials.
To find out more, go to: https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/high-school/middle-college/