Aztec Middle College: Students like ‘alternative’ program

By CELESTE ORENDAIN

Emanuel Arnautovic, 18, studies at Aztec Middle College. He said he likes the alternative school's "free-form learning."

Students enrolled in Aztec Middle College work in class. The program allows them to earn college credits while completing high school.

Aztec Middle College is an alternative high school for older students who haven’t completed high school.

Classes take place on Pima Community Colleges campuses and students earn college credits while completing high school.

Anthony Fedoreshenko, 17, learned of the program through his sister-in-law.

“She knew someone who came here once and said it was a good alternative public school, so I decided to try it and I loved it,” Fedoreshenko said. “I’m taking just about every class that Middle College offers from math to science to English and business.”

Fedoreshenko said he moved frequently among public schools before coming to Pima.

“This type of alternative setting is a really good chance to catch up, and prepare yourself for college,” he said.

Emanuel Arnautovic, 18, enrolled after a close friend suggested he try it.

“I recommend it to anyone that likes free-form learning or doesn’t really like the normal system of sitting and taking notes and testing,” Arnautovic said.

He said students participate in discussions with the instructor rather than “doing the usual things.”

Aztec Middle College, formed in 1997, is an educational partnership between the Tucson Unified School District and PCC. Students earn a high school diploma from TUSD while earning college credits, and also have job placement opportunities.

All students ages 17 to 21 who live in Pima County are eligible to apply.

Interested students should see a high school counselor or an Aztec Middle College career coordinator at any PCC campus.

They may also call the PCC provost’s office at 206-4999, or TUSD’s high school leadership office at 225-6422.

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