2-year colleges could offer 4-year degrees, but Washtenaw Community College would pass
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
Michigan's 2-year colleges could offer 4-year degrees in four subject areas, under legislation being considered by the state House.
But officials at Washtenaw Community College say they wouldn't start 4-year programs due to the college's strong ties and transfer agreements with University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.
"Washtenaw Community College has an excellent working relationship with EMU and U-M and we see no reason to divert our energies away from our primary mission," WCC President Larry Whitworth wrote in an e-mail to AnnArbor.com.
"Our colleagues at the Universities do an outstanding job, are fully accepting of our credits and transfer students. Consequently there is no need for WCC to offer the bachelors' degree."
The measures could mean Michigan's 28 community colleges could offer 4-year programs in nursing, culinary arts, cement technology and maritime technology.
WCC, which enrolls 14,000 students, has nursing and culinary arts programs.
Granville Lee, dean of the Health and Applied Technologies School at WCC, said the college's nursing honors program transfers 30 to 40 nursing students per year to EMU and U-M. The honors program and transfers are part of formal agreements with the two nearby universities.
"I see the legislation applying more to a rural-type area, where the community college might be the only college in the immediate area, and it would provide some access for students to go to college locally, without having to travel real far, but that's not the situation here," Granville said.