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Middle College Impact

Middle College


Middle College at Fairmont State University provides youth in foster care* with safety, stability, and well-being so that they can reach their academic potential.

What is Middle College? Middle College: An Overview Who is Eligible?FAQsBenefits of Attending Middle College How to Apply for Middle College Give to Middle College

Student laughing on campus

What is Middle College?

Middle College at Fairmont State University is a specialized, on-campus, academic program created for West Virginia youth in foster care. If you or someone you know is 16 years old or older and prepared to embark on a life-changing academic journey, we invite you to explore Middle College at Fairmont State. Middle colleges are common in American education and are pathways for high school students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree (or college credit toward a bachelor’s degree). Middle College at Fairmont State is unique in that it solely serves youth in foster care.

Middle College at Fairmont State: An Overview

  • The program is open to youth ages 16 and older across the state who are currently in foster care.
  • Participants live on Fairmont State’s cozy, safe campus seven days per week year-round. 
  • Tuition, fees and campus living are 100% supported by federal and state sources for attending students. 
  • Community based support services and 24/7 on campus support are provided at no cost for attending students.
  • You or a student you know may earn both a high school diploma and a two-year associate degree (or 2 years of college credit toward a bachelor’s degree)—students who graduate from Middle College will be better prepared to enter the job market or continue their college education. 
A student working on his laptop in a residence hall


The curriculum follows West Virginia's requirements, which require a minimum of 22 credits for high school graduation. This includes credits in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, and the Arts, along with electives.

Through Fairmont State’s Middle College, students have access to highly qualified instructors for courses that not only meet the state requirements for high school graduation, but also earn college credit at Fairmont State University.

Normalcy, Permanence, & Ensuring Health for the Whole Student

Young people in foster care regularly face enormous amounts of transition and trauma which pose threats to their overall health and wellbeing. In addition to the instability caused by frequent changes in living situations, youth who have experienced foster care are also likely to have been affected by death, abandonment, abuse, neglect, mental and emotional disorders, illness, substance use/abuse, food and housing insecurity, and other damaging and destabilizing experiences. 

To equip youth with the skills they need to cope with past experiences, Fairmont State University has partnered with KVC West Virginia, a leading trauma-informed foster care agency and mental health treatment provider. KVC provides 24/7 on-campus support through a dedicated team of residence hall staff, case managers, therapists, and specialized supervisory staff, ensuring the safety, permanence, and well-being of participating students. KVC also advocates for students' academic and therapeutic needs, facilitating comprehensive educational and therapeutic planning.

Two students hanging out in a residence hall
Three student posing together at while rock climbing

Life at Fairmont State University

What is college life like at Fairmont State? Pretty great, actually. Middle College provides a college experience for high-school age students, and participants experience many of the same amenities and the same vibrant campus life atmosphere that our college-age population enjoys.

  • Advanced academic programming
  • On-campus, student life activities
  • Access to performing arts and Fairmont State University athletic events
  • Special student life programming (live music events, fairs, ice-cream socials, etc.)
  • Use of Falcon Center recreational services (indoor track, swimming pool, treadmills, etc.)
  • Off-campus group trips to visual and performing arts venues, trips to cities like Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C., athletic events, and outdoor adventure, like skiing and whitewater rafting.

Is Middle College Right for You or a Student You Know?

If you or your student are looking for an academic challenge, a chance to build lifelong friendships, and the opportunity to explore independence, then the answer is “Yes!”

Middle College is not a high school on a college campus. It is an opportunity for youth to participate in college classes and campus life while earning an associate degree and a high school diploma at the same time.

Middle College is not a transitional living program. It is an opportunity for youth to build strong bonds with their fellow students and receive a unique education specifically tailored to set them on a path to a successful life and career.

Who is Eligible?

To participate in Middle College at Fairmont State University, a student must: 

  • be 16 years old or older;  
  • currently be in West Virginia foster care; 
  • be referred by Child Protective or Youth Services or another supportive adult (e.g., a Department of Health and Human Resources case worker, a parent or relative caregiver, a teacher, a school guidance counselor, and/or a child placing agency worker); 
  • meet academic requirements; and 
  • demonstrate interest in and ability to successfully complete Middle College. 

Learn More or Apply to Middle College

If you want to learn more about Middle College, or if you know a student who is ready to take on the challenges of Middle College AND has the potential to benefit from this unique program, please fill out the form. You must be 18+ to fill out this form. If you're a student under 18, have your parent, caregiver or other supportive adult fill this form out for you. 

Contact Information

Middle College at Fairmont State University
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554

Middle College Media Kit

Middle College Fairmont State University

* “Foster youth” and “youth in foster care” refer to youths, 16 years of age or older, whose legal guardian is the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.