By Charles MacInnis
North Central Michigan College
PETOSKEY, Mich. -- North Central Michigan College, Alpena Community College, Kirtland Community College, Ferris State University, and Lake Superior State University have entered into a regional partnership designed to increase the number of students who complete degrees at Michigan colleges and universities.
The new "reverse transfer agreement" will create a process whereby students who transfer from the community colleges to either of the universities can be awarded a community college associate's degree with the help of credits earned at the university. Qualifying students must have already earned 45 credits at the community college prior to transfer.
Community colleges offer a number of associate's degree programs that encompass the basic courses for a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university. Some community college students are well on their way to earning an associate's degree when they transfer to a university. The reverse transfer agreement provides a way for transfer students to receive an associate's degree when the necessary requirements are met so as to more fully represent their academic success.
"It's important that all students who enter the university system receive the degrees they've earned, whether it's at the university or the community college," said LSSU Provost Morrie Walworth. "We're happy to be able to work with our community college partners to ensure that credits earned at LSSU can be used (transferred back) to provide students with their well-deserved associate's degrees and to have those degrees awarded by the community college."
NEW AGREEMENT -- Presidents of five colleges and universities in northern Michigan signed an agreement that will streamline degree-granting for community college students who go on to earn more credits at a four-year college or university. Pictured here signing the "reverse transfer" agreement are, l-r, Dr. Cameron Brunet-Koch, president of North Central Michigan College; Dr. Thomas Quinn, president of Kirtland Community College; Dr. Tony McLain, president of LSSU; Dr. David Eisler, president of Ferris State University; and Dr. Olin Joynton, president of Alpena Community College. (Photo courtesy of NCMC)
The participating universities will notify eligible transfer students and ask their permission to audit their transcripts to determine eligibility for an associate's degree. If the additional credits earned at the university are sufficient to meet the community college's degree criteria, the community college will be notified and the process of awarding a degree will be initiated.
An agreement formalizing the partnership was signed on Monday, June 4. Other Michigan community colleges and universities have recently signed similar agreements. The goal of all of the agreements is to provide a seamless transfer experience and increase student retention and degree completion at both levels. They came about as the result of a collaboration of college and business leaders in west Michigan seeking to ensure an ongoing supply of talent in the state's workforce over the next decade.
Several hundred former North Central students may be eligible to receive a degree under the reverse transfer agreement. -NCMC/LSSU-