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Joint engineering program wins innovation award

July 21, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A joint engineering program between Western Michigan University and Kellogg Community College was named a 2009 Innovation Michigan award winner during Business Review's annual Innovation Michigan awards ceremony July 16 in Grand Rapids.

Dr. John M. Dunn, president of WMU, and Dr. G. Edward Haring, president of KCC, accepted the award on behalf of the two schools. Dr. Dennis Bona, vice president of instruction at KCC, and Dr. Anthony Vizzini, dean of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, were also on hand to accept the honor, which was presented during an evening ceremony held at Grand Valley State University's campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

Business Review's Innovation Michigan awards celebrate organizations that pioneer new business models and adopt new ways of serving their customers. Of the 39 finalists from across the State of Michigan, eight were chosen to receive the awards. Along with KCC and WMU, the awardees this year included Foresee Results, Giftzip.com, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, Integrated Architecture, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Locus Development and Wireless Ypsi.

The joint program between KCC and WMU 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 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 last December during a signing ceremony at WMU's Kendall Center in Battle Creek.

Students who opt to participate in a joint program meet admissions criteria for each school and are assigned KCC and WMU advisors who help them develop a Personal Program Plan that identifies the courses needed and their sequence. Students are enrolled at both KCC 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 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 take courses at KCC and at WMU-Battle Creek and WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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