LEAD Prep Academy, Washtenaw Community College sign multi-year agreement to educate student-athletes

Student-athletes will earn college credits in pursuit of associate degree at WCC in Ann Arbor while competing in national football schedule at LEAD Prep Academy in Brighton

JD Scott Photography

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washtenaw Community College (WCC) and LEAD Prep Academy have signed a multi-year agreement for WCC to become the preferred educational partner of LEAD Prep Academy.

LEAD Prep Academy, powered by the L.E.A.D Foundation and the Legacy Center Sports Complex, will open in May at the state-of-the-art sports complex in Brighton, 15 minutes north of the Washtenaw Community College campus in Ann Arbor.

The LEAD Prep Academy is a first-of-its-kind program in the state of Michigan, structured to combine the benefits of post-graduate and junior college athletics. Student-athletes at LEAD Prep Academy will enroll as Washtenaw Community College students, earning college credits, on track to graduate with their associate degree in 20 months, with the ultimate goal of transferring to a four-year college or university with NCAA athletic programs.

LEAD Prep Academy student-athletes will compete in a full national schedule against other junior college and post-graduate athletic programs. However, student-athletes at LEAD Prep Academy will not burn any season(s) of competition or NCAA eligibility, during their post-graduate year immediately following high school graduation. Following their post-graduate season, student-athletes may continue with (or transfer into) LEAD Prep Academy during their traditional freshman and sophomore year of college athletic eligibility. LEAD Prep Academy will start with one sport in Fall 2024: Football.

“In the era of the transfer portal and name, image, likeness (NIL), every decision we have made at LEAD Prep Academy has been rooted in best positioning our student-athletes to navigate an exciting and impactful time of their lives,” said Eric Figurski, Athletic Director at LEAD Prep Academy. “This partnership with Washtenaw Community College provides our student athletes with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and transferable HLC-accredited college courses and associate degree plans, backed by exceptional student services. This partnership will set our student-athletes up for success at LEAD Prep Academy and beyond.”

The first LEAD Prep student-athletes will begin enrolling in the summer semester, which begins May 6. WCC will provide courses and academic services in-person and virtually.

“We are excited to welcome the LEAD Prep Academy student-athletes to our campus and community,” said Linda Blakey, Provost and Chief Operating Officer at Washtenaw Community College “This partnership is a great opportunity to grow together and provides an excellent education that prepares students for prosperous careers wherever their paths may lead.”

WCC offers more than 125 academic programs – including business, computer technology, manufacturing, health sciences, transportation technologies, broadcast, communications, engineering, math & science, liberal arts transfer and more. Over the past five years, more than 16,000 WCC alumni have enrolled in 1,147 colleges and universities in all 50 states.

WCC students are eligible for many state and federal scholarships, including the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, Michigan Reconnect Scholarship and Tuition Incentive Program (TIP).

Following football, LEAD Prep Academy will expand to multiple male and female sport offerings and recruit several hundred student athletes from the district and state, as well as national and international student athletes, within its first few years.

For additional information on LEAD Prep Academy, please visit LEADPrepAcademy.com.

About Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College (WCC), Ann Arbor, Michigan, educates students through a wide range of associate and certificate programs in areas such as health care, business, STEM and advanced transportation and mobility. The college also works through community, business and union partnerships to develop highly specialized training programs to meet the region’s workforce talent needs. For more information about Washtenaw Community College, visit www.wccnet.edu.

About the L.E.A.D. Foundation
Founded in 2009 by Rodney & Amy Goble, the L.E.A.D. Foundation is a 501(c)3 non–profit organization that has supported student-athletes, nonprofits and community initiatives for the past 10 years. The L.E.A.D. Foundation focuses on helping communities through youth development, community service and supporting other nonprofits, groups and organizations through Leadership, Education, Action, and Development. L.E.A.D. also empowers and assists student-athletes through social awareness, educational guidance and financial assistance. Through the Foundation’s efforts, students are given the tools and opportunities to excel in reaching their academic and athletic goals as well as impact the community. For more information about the L.E.A.D. Foundation, visit myleadfoundation.org.


Eric Figurski
Athletic Director
(248) 974-5713

Fran LeFort
Media Relations Director
(734) 677-5295

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e5a14922-5238-4ba1-b544-0e5960732eac