WMU, Kalamazoo Valley sign agreement leading to smoother degree path for students

Contact: Paula M. Davis

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University signed an agreement Monday, Jan. 23, paving the way for students to transfer more efficiently from Kalamazoo Valley to WMU. The signing ceremony with the presidents and provosts from each institution was held at Kalamazoo Valley’s Texas Township Campus.

The new institutional articulation agreement the higher ed leaders signed is designed to help minimize credit loss and duplication of coursework—saving students time and money—as students transition from completing an associate degree program at Kalamazoo Valley to completing a bachelor’s degree at Western.

"Today is a banner day for students and the region," said Dr. L. Marshall Washington, president of Kalamazoo Valley. "This agreement serves to eliminate unintentional barriers created by our institutions in the past. Now students will more readily benefit from the educational opportunities provided by both institutions."

The pact is a precursor to upcoming program-based transfer agreements between the two schools, including in such disciplines as biomedical sciences, engineering design and sustainable brewing.

"No matter the program or major, our seamless partnership is making a significant impact on graduation rates," said WMU President Edward Montgomery. "Our goal is to give students an efficient pathway to their education plan and help individuals in Kalamazoo, West Michigan and across the state reach their full potential. Today’s signing agreement reiterates just that, and Western is honored to be partners on this rewarding journey."

Kalamazoo Valley graduate and current WMU student Whitney Lewis spoke at the signing event.

"During my time at Kalamazoo Valley I found that one of the most valuable aspects of my experience was the relationships I was able to form with my professors. They genuinely cared about me as a student and went out of their way to ensure that I succeeded," Lewis said.

"My experience at WMU has been incredible. The professors, advisors, faculty and staff have fostered a welcoming and encouraging environment, challenging me to new academic heights. I hope this continued partnership benefits many generations of Kalamazoo Valley and WMU alumni as much as it benefited me."

The institution articulation agreement is designed for students who meet Michigan Transfer Agreement requirements and follow a prescribed plan leading to an associate degree at Kalamazoo Valley.

"Post-secondary degree completion is one measure of a successful community," said Dr. Paige Eagan, provost and vice president for instruction and student services at Kalamazoo Valley. "Increasing the number of graduates from our institutions benefits students, their families and the entire region."

"Signing agreements are critical to the success of the University and are part of our mission—to engage with our education partners and create more opportunities for successful careers and purposeful lives for our students," said Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, Western’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We will continue to be intentional about creating clear pathways for our students transferring from KVCC, and we look forward to seeing our transfer numbers increase."

About Western Michigan

Western Michigan University prepares students from around the globe for a life well lived. In an environment focused on well-being and holistic success, students thrive academically, emotionally and physically and go on to pursue their purpose, prosper in meaningful careers and make an impact on society. Founded in 1903, Western offers some 250 academic programs to nearly 18,000 students pursuing degrees through the doctoral level. The University's focus on well-being supports holistic success, empowering students to craft a life of meaning and fulfillment. Nine of 10 Broncos get jobs quickly in their field in jobs they like.

About Kalamazoo Valley

Kalamazoo Valley Community College was established in 1966 by the overwhelming approval of voters in nine Kalamazoo County-area school districts. It is a comprehensive, fully accredited, public, two-year college with enrollment of about 10,000 student across four campus locations. Kalamazoo Valley offers 50 certificate programs and associate degrees in 60 areas of study and includes two student-run restaurants, a Center for New Media and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. In addition to associate degree and certificate programs in business, health care, human and public services, technical and industrial occupations, the college also provides a quality experience for students preparing to transfer to four-year institutions following graduation.

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