Higher Education

KCC, WMU partner on transfer agreement

Students earning select associate degrees at the community college will avoid duplication of coursework at university.

August 17, 2018
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Two local schools are teaming up to make transferring a smoother process.

At the start of the 2018-19 school year, an institutional articulation agreement between Kellogg Community College and Western Michigan University will go into effect.

The agreement allows students who have earned their associate degree from KCC to automatically transfer their credits from 20 different programs to similar degree programs at WMU.

Susan Stapleton, dean of WMU’s Graduate College, was interim provost at WMU and actively involved in the agreement when it was reached in May. She said the agreement allows college credits to not only transfer over but courses that are required for specific degree programs also will transfer.

“This agreement articulates the pathway for students that have a certain set of courses and a degree from KCC, (and) how that transfers into a pathway to a bachelor’s degree here at Western,” Stapleton said. “(As a result,) there shouldn’t be any confusion or (need) to take extra classes. So, the students see from the very beginning when they start out at KCC how those classes transfer into a degree, like a criminal justice degree.”

Eric Greene, chief communications officer at KCC, said about 10,500 students are enrolled in KCC annually, which includes full-time students and part-time students. The majority of the students are part time, making up 82 percent of the student body.

About 1,000 students graduate each year from KCC with either an associate degree or a professional certification, according to Greene.

Although he said KCC does not track the number of students who go on to four-year universities, Greene said between 100 and 120 students attend WMU following their time at KCC.

“A lot of (KCC) students, when they do transfer, they come to Western,” Stapleton said. “We are the school of choice for them.”

In order to ensure that the credits easily transfer over to WMU, Greene said faculties from both schools will be communicating. 

“Part of this agreement kicks off a lot of ongoing conversations at the academic levels between faculties from KCC and faculties from Western,” he said. “They are going to be talking, specifically once or twice a year to make sure the curriculum that is taught on both sides at KCC and Western are aligned so that these credits can continue to transfer in the way that they should.”

Greene said it is a “real plus for students, especially in the Battle Creek area because many students would like to get their bachelor’s degree at Western because it is local to them, nearby, it is commutable, but they would like to start at KCC because the tuition is really low.” 

He said KCC already is communicating with other educational institutions to reach a similar agreement.

“Grand Valley State University is one that is on our list, as is Ferris State University, Central Michigan University and MSU,” Greene said. “We are in various stages of conversations with those institutions.”

Stapleton said WMU also is working with schools like Grand Rapids Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Glen Oaks Community College to formulate a similar institutional articulation agreement as they currently do with WMU.

Transferable degree programs

  • Biomedical sciences
  • Business administration
  • Criminal justice – AAS in law enforcement
  • Early childhood elementary education
  • Elementary education
  • Special education
  • Economics
  • Economics – minor in history
  • Economics – minor in philosophy
  • Economics – minor in political science
  • Economics – minor in sociology
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Food service
  • Nursing – BSN part time to part time
  • Nursing – BSN full time
  • Nursing – BSN full time to part time
  • Psychology
  • Public history 

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