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WMU, MCC offer joint engineering, recreation programs

Nov. 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--An agreement signed Nov. 11 by the presidents of Muskegon Community College and Western Michigan University will mean the two schools will join forces to provide bachelor's degrees in engineering and recreation to Muskegon-area students.

WMU President John M. Dunn and MCC President Dale Nesbary formalized the agreement with a signing ceremony at MCC's Stevenson Center just before a celebration marking the Stevenson Center's 15th anniversary.

A second signing ceremony that day included Dunn, Nesbary and two other university presidents, Dr. David Eisler of Ferris State University and Dr. Thomas Haas of Grand Valley State University, who also have advocated for joint university/community college program opportunities.

The joint programs between WMU and MCC provides students with the best of both worlds by offering them joint admission, efficient and flexible class scheduling and the freedom to move seamlessly from MCC to WMU on their way to earning an associate degree at MCC and then a bachelor's degree at WMU.

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

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

"It is ideal for students who, if they are admissible to WMU, can literally be students of both programs their freshman year, and after two years make the full move to WMU," says Dr. Keith Hearit, WMU vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. "Given that students are part of both schools and have access to advising at both institutions, it takes all the uncertainty out of the transfer process."

The program is similar to a pact formalized in December 2008 for a joint engineering program between WMU and Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Mich., that has already enrolled close to 20 students, according to Hearit.

For more information, contact Dr. Keith Hearit at keith.hearit@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2380.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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