By CHENQI GUO
Capital News Service
LANSING — A growing number of community colleges are providing “concurrent enrollment” programs in partnership with four-year universities.
For example, first-year students, transfer students and current Oakland University and Macomb Community College (MCC) students are eligible for the M2O program and can take classes at either institution. That gives them access to bachelor’s and master’s degrees without having to travel to the other campus, said Michael Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association.
“By enrolling at the same time at MCC and Oakland, students can take classes back and forth according to their needs,” he said.
The collaboration, which started in fall 2006, offers financial aid and is processed through Oakland, according to Cheryl Rhodey, academic coordinator for student success and advising for the M2O program.
Ronald Hughes, director of enrollment services and registrar at MCC, said, “When it first started, only 36 students were participating. Now we have 530 students in this program.
“It’s very popular because it removes a lot of barriers in financial aid and transfer credit for student at MCC and Oakland,” he said.
M2O isn’t the only program in the state that provides students with such convenience.
For example, Lake Michigan College is collaborating with four-year institutions on concurrent enrollment, according to Laura Kraklau, its director of marketing services, such as Michigan State, Western Michigan and Spring Arbor universities.
“Those arrangements brought bachelor and master’s degree programs to our campuses, which makes education more accessible,” she said.
Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, said, “Any type of two-year four-year collaboration makes sense.”
He also pointed to a program called the Michigan College Transfer Network that helps students in community colleges transfer to universities.
“We have university center programs at each of our community college campus. If you go to Lansing Community College, you could see seven four-year public university flags. That means they have a physical presence on their campus.
“Students can literally get a four-year degree without leaving their community college,” Boulus said.
The program Web site is www.macrao.org.
© 2010, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Not to be reproduced without permission.