by Debra Johnson, Published September 20, 2012
YPSILANTI - A reverse transfer agreement will be signed Friday, Sept. 21 between Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and Washtenaw Community College (WCC) to help students obtain their associate degree through credits accumulated at the university.
For a variety of reasons, many community college students transfer into a four-year university before completing an associate degree. And, while most of these students go on to complete a bachelor's degree, they are missing the opportunity to include another significant academic achievement on their resumes.
"If a student is not able to complete their bachelor's degree for some reason - obtaining the associate degree credential becomes even more critical," said Patricia Cygnar, director of community college relations at EMU.
EMU and WCC share a long history of working together to improve programs and services to the many students who transfer between the institutions. Building on more than 20 program articulation agreements already in place, the two colleges began to collaborate on a reverse transfer agreement last year. Since then, a new statewide mandate has gone into effect that requires all public universities to have at least three reverse transfer agreements in place by January 2013.
"Both schools were interested in collaborating together about a partnership," says Cygnar. "We have worked really hard to develop a process that will be very convenient for students to use."
The new agreement will apply to students who were within 15 credits of graduation at WCC when they transferred. Students meeting the criteria will be sent an e-mail asking if they want their EMU transcript sent back to WCC (free of charge) to use EMU credits toward completing their associate degree.
"Washtenaw is excited about this opportunity for our students to complete their WCC degree," said Stuart Blacklaw, vice president for instruction at Washtenaw Community College. "These students worked so hard here and it's great to find a new way to formally recognize that effort."
Eastern Michigan is committed to helping students earn all available credentials as they pursue their career goals. Partnership agreements are currently being discussed with other area community colleges.
The agreement will be signed in room 204, Welch Hall and will be effective immediately. To read the amended section of the State School Aid Act of 1979, go to the State of Michigan website.