ALPENA - Alpena Community College is now partnering with Ferris State University, Kirtland Community College, Lake Superior State University, and North Central Michigan College to increase the number of students who will successfully complete degrees while attending Michigan colleges and universities. The five colleges entered a consortia agreement to provide transfer experiences and increase student retention and completion through a reverse transfer initiative.
The colleges and universities entered into the regional partnership to work toward increasing student completion of associate and bachelor degrees. The partnership is expected to provide transfer experience and increase completion at both community colleges and universities. Students who transferred from community colleges to either of the universities are eligible to transfer earned credits back to the community college they originally attended.
"The initiative allows the transferring of university credits back to community colleges. Students can start courses here at ACC and then attend one of the universities that are tied to the articulation agreement and can equate ACC credits to become an ACC graduate," President Olin Joynton said.
The five community college and university presidents signed the agreement and became partnering institutions on Monday at the University Center of Gaylord. In accordance to the agreement, each college also appointed a contact person and liaison for the initiative. Registrar Lori Dziesinski was appointed by Joynton to keep track of student credits and certify graduation completion.
"This is a great initiative. Michigan will have more college graduates. It's in effect now, but we still have some work to do implementing details," Joynton said.
Participating universities are responsible to notify eligible transfer students and ask for their permission to audit their transcripts to determine if they are qualified to receive an associate degree. If the additional credits earned at the university meet the community college's degree criteria, the community college will be notified and begin the process of awarding the degree.
ACC does not require a graduation fee, which Joynton said was a barrier for students applying for graduation.
"Students who have degrees will be more successful, having an associate's degree is an accomplishment. The increases in graduates will also give us greater accountability with state stakeholders," Joynton said.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.