Kellogg Community College

KCC Stories: Harper Creek sophomore Hailey Peguero says dual-enrollment at KCC will get you ahead

When Harper Creek High School sophomore Hailey Peguero turned 16 and got her driver’s license in January, she did so as a college student who’d already earned four college credits. That’s because Peguero is dual-enrolled at Kellogg Community College, where she’s taking college classes while still in high school.

Peguero, of Battle Creek, began dual-enrolling at KCC with a classmate at Harper Creek during the fall semester of her sophomore year, starting with Beginning Algebra. This spring she’s enrolled in two classes at KCC, including a communication class and a psychology class.

Peguero sees dual-enrolling as a way to get a jump on her future career working in the medical field, possibly as a nurse or even a doctor.

“I just really like it, it’s really beneficial,” Peguero says. “If you start now you could be way ahead, so when you actually graduate you already have credits that you can take to a university.”

At first the thought of taking college classes as a high schooler made Peguero nervous, but taking her first college course with a friend helped. Now she’s familiar with KCC and says she plans to continue dual-enrolling through the rest of her time at Harper Creek, where she balances classes with athletics as a soccer and volleyball player.

“It’s just really nice,” she says. “The classes are really nice, the teachers are really nice. I would highly recommend it.”

Peguero hasn’t decided yet for sure what she plans to do after graduating high school, but she has plenty of time to decide. She’s been looking at options with her mom, and could end up taking additional courses at KCC or transferring credits straight to a four-year school.

Whatever path she chooses, she’ll have a good head start thanks to credits earned through dual-enrollment at KCC.

“It’s really good for you, it’s really beneficial,” Peguero says. “It’ll get you ahead.”

Dual-enrollment at KCC

If you’re a high school student interested in dual-enrolling at KCC, now is the time to start making plans for the future. Your first step is to talk to your high school counselor and ask them about dual-enrolling at KCC.

For more information about dual-enrollment at Kellogg Community College, visit or contact KCC’s Admissions office at 269-965-4153 or

KCC Stories: Working mother, art student Coretta Margraves wants to start her own photography business

Kellogg Community College student Coretta Margraves is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree at KCC with plans to start her own photography business.

“I love to take pictures, I love to draw,” she says. “I’m kind of one of those people. I like to be behind the lens, not in front of it.”

Margraves, 39, a 1996 graduate of Albion High School, stepped in front of the lens recently to discuss her KCC story, which involves taking a break from the KCC pathway she started in 2009 after her mom died and returning later in part to inspire her own two kids, now teenagers.

College isn’t easy as a working mother, but when she first started, Margraves says, “I actually started to kind of prove to my kids that you could do both. … At any age you can always come back and finish your dreams.”

Margraves’ interest in education and entrepreneurship is an intersection of sorts of her own parents’ interests. Her mother worked in the medical field for more than three decades and was big into education, she says, while her father started his own lawn-mowing business.

Margraves is currently taking a class in American history at KCC’s Eastern Academic Center campus in Albion, where she’s taken most of her classes so far, but she plans on attending at the Battle Creek campus this summer. She anticipates graduating with her art degree sometime in 2019.

“Everything just kind of catches my eye,” she says about her interest in photography. “It’s my down time. It’s my therapy.”

KCC Classes in Albion

Interested in taking classes at KCC’s Eastern Academic Center campus in Albion? Visit for details about the campus, or contact EAC Manager Shari Deevers at 517-629-7530 or for more info.

Photography at KCC

Interested in studying photography? KCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Photography and Multimedia, as well as a Photography and Multimedia Certificate! For more information about studying photography at KCC, visit

KCC Stories: KCC alum and Navy veteran Ron Leigh says KCC “helped me be the best I could be”

Kellogg Community College alumnus and U.S. Navy veteran Ron Leigh started classes at KCC on the advice of other veterans in 2013. By last fall, he was working to help veterans himself as a college student on the cusp of graduating with two associate degrees.

“KCC lived up to its promise,” he says. “They helped me be the best I could be at KCC.”

Leigh, 60, is originally from Detroit but has lived in the Battle Creek area off and on since the early 1990s. A petty officer third class and communications yeoman with the U.S. Navy through the latter half of the 1970s, Leigh left the military in 1981. He spent the next several decades working construction and security jobs, eventually becoming a resident at Silver Star Apartments, a housing facility for homeless veterans located near the VA in Battle Creek.

He lived at Silver Star for seven years, moving out in September to a rental elsewhere in Battle Creek, but he didn’t forget his fellow veterans there. Rather, when it came time to choose a capstone project for his Human Services Program at KCC last semester, Leigh chose to create a recreational therapy program based at Silver Star to help veterans interact and socialize in positive ways.

The program saw veterans coming together several times per week for everything from music lessons and playing cards, chess and video games, to swimming and bowling at the VA and sharing free meals at Applebee’s on Veterans Day. Leigh says in addition to helping veterans come together, the program gave him a good way to phase out of his former living arrangements while helping him keep in touch with the other veterans there.

“The design of the program is to help veterans to do activities without being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or anything, healthy activities where they can kind of increase their serotonin and have fun without being drunk,” Leigh says. “We have a lot of fun.”

Leigh started taking classes at KCC in 2013 through the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a federal program that provides training assistance to unemployed veterans. He said he could’ve used the assistance at a school just about anywhere in the country, but chose KCC on the advice of other veterans he knew who were students and succeeding in their classes.

“I already had veterans who were going there and doing pretty well, and that’s what helped get me through it,” Leigh says. “So I was following them.”

Leigh earned an impressive a 3.828 GPA and become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society during his time at KCC, completing an Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services and an Associate in General Studies degree in December, and he plans to walk in the KCC commencement ceremony this spring.

Today Leigh is studying for a bachelor’s degree in Community Services at Siena Heights University, and in the future wants to work in the field of applied social psychology. In addition to the service work he’s done through school, he also volunteers with God’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen for veterans in Battle Creek, and is a Salvation Army soldier.

“I have quite a bit of community service going on,” he says, laughing.

As for his time at KCC, Leigh couldn’t be more enthusiastic when talking about his experience, particularly his instructors. When discussing which departments and instructors helped him succeed, the list of the motivators who supported him from orientation through graduation is a long one, encompassing several professors, advisors, staff members and departments ranging from Human Services to Service-Learning to Financial Aid to Career and Employment Services and a lot in between.

“You can’t just give one, it’s like a diamond – you gonna have a diamond with one face?” he says, smiling. “It was a team effort. I haven’t met a professor who’s not a friend of mine.”

For current students dealing with those same professors in their own studies, Leigh has some advice.

“Obey your professors to the letter and your life as a student will be a whole lot easier,” he says. “Treat each assignment like it’s a patient on the operating table and your grades will thank you for it. That’s what really kept me going.”

Pictured above, Leigh stands in front of an American flag mosaic at Silver Star Apartments in Battle Creek. Each tile includes the name of a resident at the facility, which houses homeless veterans.

Veteran Students at KCC

For information about KCC’s veteran services or studying at KCC as a veteran of the U.S. military, visit

Human Services at KCC

Interested in studying human services? KCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Human Services, as well as a Human Services Technician Certificate! For more information about studying human services at KCC, visit

3 ways to earn college credits at KCC while still in high school

Completing college classes while still in high school is a great way to earn college credits before graduation and shorten the time it takes to meet your goals. Whether you plan on earning a degree or certificate from Kellogg Community College to give you an edge in the workplace or simply want to get your basic courses out of the way before transferring to a four-year school or university, the following three options for earning college credits while still in high school will get you where you want to go faster and, in most cases, without spending a dime on tuition.

  1. Dual-enrollment. Dual-enrollment is when a high school student enrolls in classes at KCC at the same time he or she is still enrolled in high school. Dual-enrolled students traditionally spend part of the school day in class at their high school and part of the school day in class on campus at KCC. The first step to becoming a dual-enrolled high school student is to contact your high school guidance counselor and ask about dual-enrollment opportunities at KCC. More information about dual-enrollment at KCC is available online at
  2. Early College. Like dual-enrollment, Early College programs involve high school students enrolling at KCC while still attending high school. Early College programs generally begin during the student’s sophomore year of high school and run through an additional “fifth year” extending one year after traditional high school graduation. Early College students take a variety of KCC courses intermixed with their high school schedules and graduate after their fifth year with an associate degree in addition to their high school diploma. KCC currently has Early College agreements with a handful of regional high schools. For more information about Early College opportunities offered at KCC through your high school, contact your high school guidance counselor.
  3. High school articulation. While programs like dual-enrollment and Early College involve high school students taking KCC classes for college credit, high school articulation awards college credits for classes taken by the student at his or her high school. A high school student who successfully completes an approved high school course with a grade of a B or higher and also completes associated competencies to demonstrate his or her learning to KCC’s Articulation Committee is eligible to receive college credits for the equivalent course at KCC. For more information about high school articulation, visit

If you’re a high school student interested in taking advantage of one of the opportunities above now or in the near future – including next fall – now is the time to let us know! Contact our Admissions office at or 269-965-4153 and let us help you find your path at KCC!

Pictured above, Battle Creek Central High School senior and KCC dual-enrollment student Yarielis Rosario poses at the entrance to KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. Rosario, who’s president of Central’s National Honor Society chapter, a student government representative and a section leader in the marching band, plans to study environmental biology and premed after graduation, possibly at the University of Florida.

For more news from Kellogg Community College, check our our KCC Daily blog at

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We are dedicated to providing accessible, high-quality education to enrich our community and the lives of individual learners.


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