GRCC, WMU to extend decades-old partnership with new agreement

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Grand Rapids Community College and Western Michigan University will move a decades-old partnership to the next level with a Wednesday, Sept. 2, signing that paves the way for a new round of agreements that will allow both schools to better serve students and the Grand Rapids community.

Meeting at 10 a.m. in GRCC's campus, on the fifth floor of the Main Building at 143 Bostwick Ave. NE., GRCC President Steven C. Ender and WMU President John M. Dunn will head leadership teams from both schools in signing an Institutional Agreement intended to streamline the transfer of students who earn an associate degree at GRCC and move on to a bachelor's degree program at WMU. Effective upon signing, the agreement is an umbrella structure under which both schools expect to develop a number of additional program-specific agreements.

A history of collaboration

The new agreement is the latest in a series of agreements entered over the years that recognize and build upon a long tradition of collaboration between the two schools. The schools have long worked together to help students earn credentials through articulation agreements, dual enrollment programs and a reverse transfer agreement.

Last fall, for instance, WMU pledged to bring the resources of a research university to the goal of doubling the number of Grand Rapids citizens with a college degree. And since 2012, a dual enrollment program has been in place that allows GRCC students to seamlessly continue their work toward a bachelor's degree in business through WMU's Haworth College of Business.

The new agreement, in addition to streamlining student transfers, also provides a mechanism for the schools to work together to develop new programs that are aligned with both institutions' curricula and graduation requirements.

"We are proud to partner with Western on this agreement," says GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. "By working together, we strengthen both of our institutions."

"For more than 100 years, Western Michigan University has been providing higher education to theGrand Rapids community," said WMU's Dunn at the event.  "For generations, GRCC students have continued their educational goals at WMU. This agreement is about reaffirming that relationship and helping those students continue their journey and become successful in reaching their goals."

Each fall, about 115 GRCC students continue on to WMU to pursue their bachelor's degree studies. And during a typical full academic year, as many as 250 GRCC students begin their WMU studies.

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