The mission of the Quinebaug Middle College (QMC) is to provide a challenging, personalized, comprehensive learning environment that fosters the skills, knowledge, habits, and individual discipline necessary for students from diverse backgrounds to realize their ambitions and contribute in a positive, meaningful way to their community and culture.
Several features work best for youth who are ready to take greater ownership and responsibility for their own learning behavior. Those include: providing adult and peer mentors; assigning individual advisors to work one-on-one with learners throughout their secondary and post-secondary experiences; focusing on career and vocational aspirations; establishing service learning opportunities as a component of curriculum; and, providing a well-articulated multidisciplinary and career/vocational curriculum that brings students together with teachers and college faculty, supported by the resources of a college-learning environment. A middle college learning experience is a developmentally appropriate model for those students who are ready to explore their personal power in shaping their own learning, their lives, and their world.
The QMC vision guiding the development of this new program is based on the notion that student learning flourishes in an environment where high expectations and achievement are integral; where rigorous, relevant instruction is provided; and where the real-world application of skills is conducted in a community of strong, positive, and caring relationships.
The QMC model helps students to recognize that their individual learning experiences are reflections of an interdependent engagement with a community of other learners, mentors, and teachers, and that this interdependence warrants a respect and appreciation for the valuable roles, responsibilities, and contributions of all its members. In engagement with others, students learn to value and appreciate the collective talents, skills, abilities, perspectives, and assets of a diverse community of learners. Therefore, active community membership is at the heart of the QMC model, as students are encouraged to embrace their personal attributes, interests, skills, knowledge, and responsibilities in addressing real-world problems in a self-directed, collaborative manner. This approach yields powerful results for all students and their communities.