Articulations could help MCC students save thousands


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:36 am on Friday, January 18, 2013

Montcalm Community College offers many opportunities for students to achieve higher education. With the new campus opening in Greenville, students will be able to benefit more to help achieve their educational goals. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

SIDNEY — Montcalm Community College (MCC) strives to have students succeed and helps to provide options for more high-education options.

For the past several years, MCC has worked with other colleges and universities to put into place articulation agreements allowing students to easily transfer to obtain their baccalaureate degree.

“The credits transfer,” said Rob Spohr, vice president of academic affairs, of the articulation agreements.

Robert Ferrentino, MCC president, said because of the partnerships they have with the numerous colleges and universities, students are able to start at MCC and then move on to even more high education without the worry of what credits will transfer.

With this options, students who choose to start out at MCC before transferring will also save money when it comes to student loans.

“Debt is a huge issue,” Ferrentino said of students attending colleges and universities.

Spohr noted students would save tens of thousands of dollars when starting at MCC before moving on.

After talking with college and university presidents — like Central Michigan University’s President George Ross — Spohr said there is proof students who start out at community colleges seem to do better when they transfer on to get their baccalaureate degree.

“(Most) students who start at MCC do better when they transfer than those who start at (a four-year college),” Spohr said.

MCC has a wide variety of articulation agreements to offer to its students.

Some of the programs contained within the agreement are ones such as accounting, business administration, hotel management, criminal justice, medical office administration, dietary and food service management, restaurant and food industry management, information security, computer support technology, aviation maintenance and much more.

Schools such as Central Michigan University, Cleary University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Kaplan University, Walsh College and more have all partnered with MCC in some programs to make transferring easier on the students.

Some of the programs and agreements — such as the business administration professional track through Ferris State University — offer students the option of taking three years worth of credits at MCC then transferring their last year to obtain their baccalaureate degree. In some cases that last year can even be done through online courses.

“We want to pave the paths that lead from here to other universities,” Ferrentino said. “We want MCC’s campus to be a destination for higher education.”

MCC’s new campus in Greenville also will be able to accommodate students wanting to achieve more in their education, as a computer lab will be opened for students to work on their own time with some online courses and other projects.

Because of the options MCC offers their students, Ferrentino said there should not be excuses stopping people from obtaining higher education.

“There really is no reason why students can’t start here and obtain a degree,” he said.

In the future, both Ferrentino and Spohr said they would like to make more articulation agreements with schools to offer programs in the medical and agricultural fields.

Another way to help students succeed through MCC, Spohr said, is by partnering with employers throughout the area to offer apprenticeships.

Sporh gave the example of the school’s partnership with Greenville Tool and Die, who only a few years ago had two students who participated in the apprenticeship. This year, the partnership between the school and the business drew in 26 students for the apprenticeship.

“(MCC) has so many ways to help the students succeed,” Ferrentino said.

Currently, MCC is working on partnering with K-12 education by giving those students more options for higher education as well.

MCC is working to offer an early college program that helps students achieve an associate degree while still attending high school.

“It’s huge,” Spohr said of all the opportunities MCC offers students for higher education.

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