A bill from state Representative Pauline Wendzel that seeks to fix a problem that prevents some community college students from participating in sports has been approved by a Michigan House committee. She tells WSJM News this concerns students in early middle college programs. Wendzel says under current state law, a student enrolled in an EMC is not allowed to participate in college athletics during the fifth year of their program. Under her bill, a student could compete as long as they’ve used up their four years of high school eligibility. Lake Michigan College approached her about the legislation.

“The local community college came to me and said, ‘Hey, we have a problem. We think that this is a great program, the early middle college program. We think some students aren’t participating in this because they aren’t eligible to play in sports and they would like to do that.’ It seemed like a pretty easy fix to me.”

Wendzel says the bill could help to increase participation in early middle college programs at community colleges. It was approved by the House Education Committee unanimously this week. The legislation has the backing of Lake Michigan College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the Michigan Department of Education, several other community colleges, and the Michigan Community College Association. It now goes to the full state House.