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New partnership aims to boost associate’s degree candidates

(L to R): CMU President Dr. George Ross, Rep. Kevin Cotter, and MMCC President Carol Churchill

MT. PLEASANT — Central Michigan University and Mid Michigan Community College have signed a “reverse transfer” agreement that will allow students to obtain an associate’s degree after transferring on to begin work on their bachelor’s degree.

Part of a larger national and state-wide initiative, the Credit When It’s Due program will help more students who have transferred from community colleges to universities complete their associate degrees. The Kresge Foundation is supporting the initiative in Michigan, one of 12 states supported by foundation funding.

“CMU and Mid Michigan Community College are long standing partners committed to student success,” George E. Ross, CMU president, said. “The reverse transfer agreement provides the opportunity for both institutions to help increase the number of people with degrees in Michigan.”

The initiative is designed to encourage partnerships of community colleges and universities, allowing students who complete the requirements of an associate’s degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree to “reverse transfer” the pertinent credits for receipt of their associate degrees.

“We know that many students take courses at MMCC with the intent to transfer to CMU,” Carol Churchill, MMCC president, said. “These students transfer significant credits to CMU but are often short of meeting MMCC’s graduation requirements. If something happens, and they aren’t able to complete their baccalaureate degree, this agreement will help them transfer credits from CMU back to MMCC so they can receive an associate’s degree.”

On average, a student’s earning power over the course of their life is significantly impacted by degree completion. This agreement recognizes the value of an associate’s degree and helps students earn the valuable credential on their path to a bachelor’s degree.

Representative Kevin Cotter, a lifelong resident of Isabella County, attended both MMCC and CMU and advocates strongly for education; he also taught at MMCC.

As the partnership between CMU and MMCC was formed, the institutions reached out to Cotter to be the first “reverse transfer” student. Cotter earned 24 credits as an MMCC student. With this agreement in place, it was a simple process to transfer the appropriate credits from CMU back to MMCC, which allowed him to earn an associate’s degree.

“College completion is incredibly important to lifelong success,” Cotter said. “This exciting partnership puts students in a position to earn a degree. Whatever path they take, it’s important for students to have something to show for their hard work and commitment to education. This agreement makes that possible.”


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