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Ferris and Kalamazoo Valley Community College Announce ‘Building Pathways’ Transfer Agreement Leading to Four-Year Degree

PhotoKalamazoo Valley Community College and Ferris State University Tuesday announced a transfer agreement. Participating in the signing ceremony at Kalamazoo Valley’s Texas Township Campus were from left, Paige Eagan, Ph.D., provost and vice president for instruction and student services at Kalamazoo Valley Community College; Kalamazoo Valley President L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D.; Ferris State University President David L. Eisler, Ph.D.; and Robert P. Fleischman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris. (Photo credit: Kalamazoo Valley Community College)

The news release and photos were produced by Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

KALAMAZOO – Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Ferris State University Tuesday announced a new program to help Kalamazoo Valley students transfer seamlessly to Ferris State University. The Building Pathways program was unveiled during a ceremony at Kalamazoo Valley’s University Center at its Texas Township Campus, which opened six years ago to allow partner universities to offer onsite classes culminating in a four-year degree. Ferris is the center’s third partner school.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College President L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D., said the partnership is another pipeline for Kalamazoo Valley students to earn four-year degrees, which he said could aid them financially down the road.

“We all know being able to attain an associate degree provides an opportunity for students to advance their earning potential,” Washington said. “But more so when you are able to receive a bachelor’s degree beyond that, it compounds that earning potential.”

PhotoFerris State University President David L. Eisler, Ph.D., signed a transfer agreement with Kalamazoo Valley Community College during a Tuesday ceremony at Valley’s Texas Township Campus. Looking on, from left, Robert P. Fleischman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris; Kalamazoo Valley President L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D.; and Paige Eagan, Ph.D., provost and vice president for instruction and student services at Valley. (Photo credit: Kalamazoo Valley Community College)

Ferris approached Kalamazoo Valley about a transfer partnership earlier this year after noticing a sizable number of Valley students not only transferring but, in fact, successfully obtaining their degrees. Between 2014 and 2019, 120 Kalamazoo Valley students transferred to Ferris, according to Robert P. Fleischman, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris. All obtained their bachelor’s degree, with almost two-thirds doing so in two-or three-years’ time.

Speaking at the transfer agreement signing ceremony, Ferris President David L. Eisler said, “As we walked your facilities, it’s easy to see how our institutions fit together because we have similar programs, and we have similar principles and similar aspirations. We’re here to eliminate the institutional barriers so that students can succeed.”

Under the agreement, Kalamazoo Valley students enrolled in the Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners scholarship programs can take up to 12 hours of credit from Ferris State University before completing their associate degree at the same tuition rate as the in-district community college rate, a substantial savings, according to Paige Eagan, provost and vice president for instruction and student services at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

“We are excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity to Kalamazoo Valley’s Future for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect students,” Eagan said. “Their frontline service during the height of the pandemic, or their decision to continue their education as an adult learner, is applauded.” Eagan said this reduced tuition would only be available to students while they were enrolled at the community college, encouraging completion of the associate degree. These community college students will be directly admitted into Ferris State University as they pursue both their associate and bachelor degrees.

Bachelor courses would be available on the community college campus through Ferris State University and online.

Students from these programs would be eligible for additional transfer scholarship assistance when fully enrolled at Ferris State University. The Building Pathways program will be available to students beginning with the Winter Semester 2022. Classes begin Jan. 10. For more information.

In addition to Ferris State University, other University Center partners include Davenport University and Siena Heights University.

About Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Established in 1966, Kalamazoo Valley Community College offers certificate programs in more than 50 areas of study and associate degrees in 60 others. These include business, healthcare, human and public service, and technical occupations, culinary arts and brewing training. It has four Kalamazoo, Mich., locations, including the Texas Township Campus, the Groves Campus, the Arcadia Commons Campus and the Bronson Healthy Living Campus. Classes are available during the day, evening, online and weekends.