KALAMAZOO—A new joint agreement between Muskegon Community College and Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business will offer students joint admission to both schools and enable them to initiate their college studies at MCC, earn an associate degree then seamlessly transfer to WMU to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn and MCC President Dr. Dale K. Nesbary formalized the agreement during a signing ceremony Nov. 15 at WMU. A number of officials from both schools also participated, including Dr. Kay Palan, dean of WMU's Haworth College of Business and Teresa A. Sturrus, MCC vice president for Academic Affairs.
Under the agreement, students would be eligible to be admitted to both MCC and WMU as high school seniors or during their freshman year at college, and assuming they meet the requirements of the agreement, they would be admitted to WMU's Haworth College of Business, in time to begin their junior year.
"Muskegon Community College has been a strong and longtime partner to WMU and for many years, has been a leader in providing top-notch higher education opportunities for students," says Dunn. "This agreement helps both of us better serve students by ensuring continuity, expanding students' early options and guaranteeing that every class they successfully complete puts them one step closer to earning a degree. Students who enroll in the program will be both Jayhawks and Broncos from their very first days in college."
A WMU advisor will be available at MCC regularly to meet with students in the program and help each develop a personal program plan. That plan will include course equivalencies as well as curriculum modifications, exceptions or substitutions. The curriculum developed by both schools includes a WMU-style First Year Experience course to be offered to freshmen and taught at MCC.
Dual admission program
Each student in the program will have dual enrollment status through the completion of his or her associate degree. That will mean each student will have access to both institutions' libraries; athletic, cultural and recreational facilities; and other student services and benefits.
Nesbary notes that many students from his school transfer to four-year schools each year, and the dual enrollment program is a perfect option for students who want to earn an associate degree and know they want to continue on for a bachelor's degree. About 45 MCC students transfer to WMU each year.
"Many students use their MCC education as the perfect foundation for a four-year degree, and this partnership allows MCC to offer students the certainty of a curriculum that will allow them to make a smooth transition into a bachelor's program at a distinguished university," says Nesbary.
The agreement ensures that MCC transfer students who earn a minimum grade of C in each class of the agreed-upon curriculum will have that course count toward a WMU Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
"The agreement is ideal for MCC students who are admissible to WMU to be students of both programs starting in their freshman year and then fully transfer to WMU after two years," says Palan, the Haworth College of Business dean. "The program is designed to take a lot of the guesswork out of credit evaluations and ensure seamless transfer."
Both schools will market the program to their incoming students and will link to each other's websites to provide information about the program to interested students.
The first participants in the joint business program are expected to enroll in fall 2013.
Also during the signing event, both presidents signed a reverse transfer agreement that will allow MCC students already at WMU to count their WMU credits toward an MCC associate degree if they transferred before completing that credential.