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Glen Oaks and Western Michigan sign agreement


Students who have attended Glen Oaks Community College and transferred to Western Michigan University, prior to obtaining their associate degree, can now receive their associate degree a little easier while continuing their studies at WMU.

Glen Oaks Community College was one of four community colleges which signed reverse transfer agreements on Tue., December 4, that allows community college students, transferring to WMU, the opportunity to combine credits earned at both WMU and their community college to receive their associate degrees.

GOCC President Gary Wheeler and Kellogg Community College President Dennis Bona, Lake Michigan College President Robert Harrison and Lansing Community College President Brent Knight joined WMU Provost Timothy Greene at WMU’s Gilmore Alumni House for the signing ceremony, along with other community college and WMU officials who were there to celebrate the agreement that will enhance existing transfer and articulation agreements between the community colleges and WMU.

“When we build new buildings, it is often a good idea to wait and see where the students walk and the pathways they establish, and then pour the sidewalks,” says Wheeler. “That is quite similar to what we are doing today with these agreements. We've seen where the students are enrolling and using that information to establish the appropriate academic pathways for credentials.”

"Students often enter the work force prior to completing a two or four-year degree,” continues Wheeler. “The agreement demonstrates the commitment on the part of both institutions to support student success and encourage them to re-enroll to complete, thereby enhancing the student’s attractiveness in the job market. Student success is a core value we both share, as is working collaboratively to address common challenges."

Reverse transfer agreements, WMU's Greene says, are a way to honor the college choices and paths students follow and ensure they receive the maximum benefit from both their time at their community college and at WMU.

"We want them to have the flexibility of entering the job market whenever they wish and to have a resume that reflects the community college credentials they've earned as they work to complete a four-year degree," Greene says. "This is about our institutions showing our joint commitment to our students and their success."

Under the agreement terms, WMU will identify potential students who may qualify for the retroactive associate degree using the credits earned at WMU.  GOCC will work with the students to ensure the requirements are met. It takes a minimum of 62 credit hours to earn an associate degree at GOCC.