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Posted on Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

Eastern Michigan University signs reverse transfer agreement with Washtenaw Community College

By Katrease Stafford

Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College signed a reverse transfer agreement Friday to enable students to obtain their associate degree through credits accumulated at the university.


EMU signed a reverse transfer agreement with WCC.

File photo

The agreement will apply to students within 15 credits of graduation at WCC when they transferred. The university will send out emails to these students asking if they want their EMU transcript sent back to WCC free of charge to be used toward completing their associate degree.

EMU has 7,937 students enrolled for the fall 2012 semester that transferred from community colleges throughout the state of Michigan.

Of that number, 2,485 are from WCC, which equates to 31 percent of the overall number.

University officials believe that community college student transfers can miss out on an opportunity to include a “significant achievement” on their resumes when they don’t complete their associate degree.

"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, in a statement.

EMU and WCC have more than 20 program articulation agreements in place and the two institutions began collaborating on the reverse agreement Iast year.

A new statewide mandate recently went into effect requiring all public universities to have at least three reverse transfer agreements in place by January 2013.

Cygnar said both schools were interested in furthering their relationship and the partnership will be convenient for students. EMU currently is discussing agreements with other community colleges.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

From the story: "A new statewide mandate recently went into effect requiring all public universities to have at least three reverse transfer agreements in place by January 2013." That is a good start. I fail to understand why any and all credits for a state-approved college or university are not transferable from one institution to another. Many transfer students have to repeat courses they've already taken at another college or university. The cost of education is high enough without these redundancies. And to go even further, it would be ideal if credits were transferable anywhere within the country. However, I am a realist and understand that likely will not happen for decades, if ever.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Indymama is right - the courses are different in each school. NCA and other accreditation groups measure on the program, not on the class. Some schools such as MSU have a significant number of three credit classes, while others like Oakland have four credit classes. Both programs may teach to accreditation but you can't transfer one class to another per school. This is the federated model that lets schools create unique experiences and differentiate each other. Otherwise, you have no-child-left-behind and everyone learns (does not learn) the same thing.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

gregg, tOO it's nice you enjoy sarcasm, but if one has to tell it's sarcasm, it's not that good. Perhaps you should look at the primary education the high school students received in the so-called olden days, it was much deeper than strawman arguments and argument by authority such as I see in these comments. Milton Friedman scoffed at the academic requirements being foisted on people today, for no other reason than the system demands it and to ensure maintaining market prices for services artificially. Law is a trade, and learning the trade alongside a practicing attorney is not an unreasonable way to learn to wade through it. Law is not particle physics.

greg, too

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 4:59 a.m.

Dcam, i loved your post. That is the funniest thing I have read in a while. I have wondered for a while why we don't let high school grads who have seen CSI or Law and Order into the UMich or MSU law school, maybe even using past episodes as credit. They will just end up as lawyers, deciding the trends of modern law and precedents and acting as counsel for us, so why not just let em in with a pre req from CBS? Maybe even some bonus credit for watching Psych and a little bit of Nancy Grace? By the way, please see the sarcasm.


Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

For many courses that are "similar" in content which are taught at different schools, there is a great difference in the actual material that is covered. The titles of the courses may be the same, but the content may be entirely different. These courses are also usually the "introductions" to the next level of courses on that subject. In other words, they are like building needs the foundation before continuing to "build" on higher classes.


Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

But how many of the prerequisites are actually needed for the benefit of the student and the coursework required? Aren't most for the benefit of school's bottom line? Before the turn of the century, UM Law school entrance requirement was a high school diploma. Over the years, a one year law degree without prerequisites turned into a four bachelor degree and a four year law school requirement. From one to eight years haven't made our lawyers more brilliant, but they certainly made law more expensive - with UM the biggest winner of all. As Adam Smith pointed out 250 years ago, that the number of years for various degrees hasn't changed since the time of the philosophers, but the number of prerequisites certainly have increased since Smith's days. And it's all for the benefit of the colleges.

Angry Moderate

Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

In addition to what YpsiVeteran said, some community college prerequisites are just not taught near the same level as U-M/MSU intro courses.


Sun, Sep 23, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

" I fail to understand why any and all credits for a state-approved college or university are not transferable from one institution to another." The answer is simple, and sad: Because then schools would have their access to unlimited amounts of federal student loan dollars crimped. They are largely unregulated, and they can pretty much do whatever they want in order to maximize the money they rake in from the federal government.