Early College STEM Academy
What is the STEM Academy?
The STEM Academy is a dual enrollment program where high school students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math (i.e., STEM) take a full-time schedule of college classes at Madison College over 11th and 12th grade. Dual enrollment means that students earn both college credits and credits toward high school graduation. Students attend Madison College full time during the day, and only attend their home high schools for extra-curricular activities and events after the school day ends.
STEM Academy Information Session for Lodi High School Students and Families presented by Kevin Mirus
What is the cost of the STEM Academy?
The School District of Lodi will pay two-thirds of the cost while families will contribute one-third of the cost (approximately $2300 per year) to attend the STEM Academy, meaning students can earn up to 60 college credits for less then the cost of one semester of college.
Why join the STEM Academy?
Students can focus on college classwork in their STEM interests and earn a large number of college credits that apply to four-year colleges and universities at no cost to them or their families. Some students will earn up to 60 credits for the Associate of Science degree, and may be able to start at a four-year college or university with enough transfer credits for junior standing. Finally, students can complete up to the first year of an applied associate degree in an applied STEM field, which they can finish in one more year at Madison College after high school.
Where is the STEM Academy?
Incoming STEM Academy students from LHS students will attend at the Truax Campus, 1701 Wright Street, which is near the airport in Madison.
Who Can Apply to the STEM Academy?
Current tenth grade students who meet the entrance criteria can apply. Entrance requirements include at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA, 90% attendance rate, and minimum progress toward high school graduation requirements in English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and health classes. Since the Lodi School District has only 2 spots available for the program, application to the program does not guarantee admission.
Who do I contact?
Co-Director Juanita Comeau, JComeau@madisoncollege.edu, 608.246.6596
Co-Director Kevin Mirus, KMirus@madisoncollege.edu, 608.246.6478
Interested students or families from the Lodi School District should contact the high school counseling department for more information about the application process and timeline.
Sample STEM Academy Student Course Planner
Frequently Asked Questions:
If I am not selected as a 10th grader, can I apply again in my 11th grade year?
No. At this time, the program is available only in a full two‐year format.
What is the start and end time of school?
The STEM Academy school day runs from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Students check in with their advisor before their first class at 8:30. Classes end by 2:30 PM so that students have time to get back to their high schools for after‐school activities.
What calendar does the STEM Academy follow?
The STEM Academy follows the Madison College academic calendar, which is different from the high school calendar. The fall semester typically begins the day after Labor Day, runs for sixteen weeks, and ends about the third week of December. The spring semester typically begins the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, runs for sixteen weeks, and ends about the second week of May. Spring break is between the 8th and 9th weeks.
What does the daily schedule in the program look like?
STEM Academy classes do not follow the typical high school schedule of the same classes every day in either a seven period or in a four‐block schedule. Instead, they follow a college schedule, with three credit courses meeting for three fifty‐minute periods or two seventy‐five‐minute periods per week, four credit courses meeting for four fifty‐minute periods or two 100‐minute periods per week, and five credit courses meeting for five fifty‐minute periods or two 125‐minute periods per week. Students are expected to study in the Student Achievement Center or in the Library at their Madison College campus during time outside of their scheduled classes.
Can students still participate in extracurricular activities at their home high school?
Yes. Coursework for the STEM Academy ends in time for students to return to their home high school to participate in after school activities.
How many classes will students take in a day?
A minimum full‐time college course load is twelve credits. That would be four 3‐credit classes per semester. Students with a twelve‐credit load would attend two to four classes each day, depending on the scheduling of those classes. Students taking 16 credits that include a lab class could be in the classroom nineteen hours per week. Note that, as college students, STEM Academy students will find they have two or more hours of work outside of class for every hour spent in class.
Students may take more than twelve credits per semester. In fact, they need to average fifteen credits per semester to complete the 60 credit Associate of Science degree, unless they take summer school. Students may also choose to take less than twelve credits if they need to, but need to pay attention to completing enough credits to meet high school graduation requirements. All STEM Academy students receive personalized guidance for course selection to meet their academic and career goals.
My child is taking advanced math coursework. Will they have math course options to fit their current placement?
Being advanced beyond the minimum expectation of the program does not prevent a student from being considered for the STEM Academy. Students who excel in math are placed into an appropriate class, based on AP scores, placement scores, or other factors. There are no special cohort math classes for advanced students in the first semester. Instead, advanced students select from regularly offered sections that include other Madison College students. Students who want credit for their high school AP classes need to take the AP test and share scores with Madison College for consideration for credit.
Will students be able to continue studying a World Language?
Madison College offers Spanish 1 through Spanish 5, French 1 through French 5, and two semesters each of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. There are no other options for world language study. Students take a placement test prior to starting courses to identify the appropriate course level. World Language courses are taken with other Madison College students.
Are there other elective course options available (Social Sciences, Humanities, Art, etc.)?
Yes. There are several hundred elective course options available at Madison College for students. Students must select from regularly offered sections.
What supports exist for students in the STEM Academy?
Student support begins before the first day of class with a one‐week Learning to Learn Academy where students learn what it takes to succeed in college and build support networks with their peers. Students take closed cohort sections of Introduction to College Writing and College Success their first semester in the program, some of which are taught by dually‐qualified high school teachers. These teachers help bridge the gap between high school and college.
Students have a dedicated advisor who checks in with them every day. Guided time in the Student Achievement Center is also provided in the first semester. Instructors complete progress reports every four weeks so students know where they stand. In the second semester, students take more courses with the general student population, but still have one or two cohort sections for mutual support. Textbooks and a $6 per day lunch stipend are provided as part of the program.
Will STEM Academy students all be together for classes for the duration of the program?
STEM Academy students will not be all together for all classes during the two‐year program. They will have a number of cohort‐only classes the first semester and one or two in the second semester. Other courses they take will be regularly scheduled Madison College courses with other Madison College students. It is important to note that STEM Academy students are Madison College students themselves!
Are students eligible for scholarships for additional college work after they graduate from the Early College STEM Academy?
Will STEM Academy students still take the ACT test?
Yes. STEM Academy students return to their home high schools to take the state‐required ACT test in March of their 11th grade year.
What is the attendance policy for the STEM Academy?
Madison College itself does not have an overall attendance policy. Instead, individual instructors set their own classroom attendance policies.
Last updated: 1/27/2021