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WMU/KCC to offer dual enrollment, smooth transitions

Dec. 18, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A new joint program between Kellogg Community College and Western Michigan University will provide students with the best of both worlds by offering them joint admissions, efficient and flexible class scheduling and the freedom to move seamlessly from KCC to WMU on their way to earning an associate degree at KCC and then a bachelor's degree at WMU.

The pact was formalized today during a signing ceremony at WMU's Kendall Center in Battle Creek. During the event, KCC President Edward Haring and WMU President John M. Dunn inked a two-institution Joint Program Plan. The pair then launched that initiative with an agreement that will lead students first to an associate degree from KCC and then to a bachelor's degree from WMU. The first programs will be in technology and engineering starting in the fall of 2009. Additional joint programs will be added as student demand grows.

"Kellogg Community College has long been our partner in providing top-notch higher education opportunities to students in this area," says WMU's Dunn. "This agreement improves the way both institutions serve students by ensuring continuity and guaranteeing that every class successfully completed puts a student one step closer to his or her degree goal. Students who enroll in the program will be both Bruins and Broncos from their very first days in college."

Haring added, "This is a great opportunity for citizens of this area to pursue a baccalaureate degree in engineering through a cooperative venture between two great institutions, Kellogg Community College and Western Michigan University. This seamless transition will assure that both the investment of time and money in seeking these degrees is used to their greatest potential. This is a very exciting venture that will likely serve as a model for other types of cooperation in higher education throughout the state."

"We're going to recruit students together, admit them to both schools and work hand-in-glove to make sure they encounter no timing or course sequencing barriers," says Dr. Dennis Bona, KCC's vice president for instruction. "This is about helping students move seamlessly between the two schools as their programmatic and personal needs dictate. It's about ensuring degree completion."

Students who opt to participate in a joint program will need to meet admissions criteria for each school and will be assigned KCC and WMU advisors who will help them develop a Personal Program Plan that identifies the courses needed and their sequence. Students will be enrolled at both KCC and WMU and will enjoy benefits from both institutions, such as library and computer system use and access to athletic, professional and cultural programming.

Students may begin taking WMU courses during their first year at KCC and may opt to return to KCC for additional courses even after completion of their associate degree requirements. On their way to completion of a bachelor's degree, students will take courses at KCC, WMU-Battle Creek and WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo.

The science/engineering agreement has been in the works for nearly a year. Engineering is one of the programs for which KCC students most frequently request transfer information. Dr. Timothy Greene, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, was engineering dean when the planning began. He remains intensely involved and interested in the initiative.

"This is a program that has been carefully constructed by both WMU and KCC to take maximum advantage of our respective course offerings and requirements," Greene says. "It will take close and constant coordination and communication between our schools and careful advising of students, but the result for our students will be a smooth and seamless path to an engineering degree from a top university--WMU. It's a degree that will allow them to compete effectively for the jobs of the future."

Both schools' faculty and staff will market the program to their incoming students and both schools may link to each other's Web sites to provide information about the programs to interested students.

The first participants in the science/engineering program are expected to enroll in fall 2009.

Media contact, WMU: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu
Media contact, KCC: Nicole Finkbeiner, (269) 966-4088, finkbeinern@kellogg.edu

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