Last week’s announcement by the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) about expanded transfer opportunities with colleges and universities is welcome news. 

The MCCA’s commitment is aligned with Eastern Michigan University’s decades-long focus on expanding community college partnerships to benefit Michigan students. 

Currently, Eastern Michigan has more than 140 transfer agreements with community colleges across the state. This is a far greater number than any other university in Michigan, and is a result of our long-held recognition that pathways to a four-year degree must be improved. 

These pathways must be seamless. Students at community colleges should not have to worry about whether their credits will transfer. Our degree-granting institutions must make this easy — a “no brainer," so to speak. 

At Eastern, we have committed to that process for many years with a transfer office that is dedicated to working one on one with community college students to make the transition quick and successful.

This could not happen without the outstanding partnerships we have with our community colleges. We truly value those relationships. We have been, and remain, committed to working together to support students through this process. 

The benefits to be gained by starting at a community college and transferring to a four-year institution are many. A “2 + 2” program, as we describe it in the industry (two years at a community college followed by two years at a university), may not be the right path for every student. But there are many for which a community college experience is the ideal starting point to their degree. 

I congratulate our community college partners in the MCCA for doing their part to streamline the process for Michigan students. I am committed to doing our part —continuing to grow the number of agreements we have with community colleges, and continuing to streamline the transfer process to benefit all students in Michigan.  

James M. Smith, Ph.D., president, Eastern Michigan University

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