EMU eases transition between colleges

Eastern Michigan University is continuing to find creative ways to recruit prospective students. An example of this is the articulation agreement EMU recently signed with Macomb Community College.

In a press release available to the campus community, the associate dean of information technology at MCC, Robert Kansa said, “This agreement allows our students to start locally and save money, then move to EMU to earn a bachelor’s degree.”

The articulation agreement enables students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in simulation, animation and gaming. MCC can only offer their students an associate degree in this field.

The agreement works on two recruiting levels for both schools. First, it allows the students to transfer all of their MCC credits into the SAG program at EMU. It also allows MCC to offer their students a chance at a four-year degree.

“(It) allows them a smooth transition into a four-year degree,” John Boyless, director of the EMU School of Technology Studies said. “Definitely a recruiting tool, selling to an MCC student a way to complete a four-year degree.”

The SAG program at EMU is not even a year old, after starting during the fall semester, and each semester enrollment has grown

“SAG is one of our fast growing programs,” Boyless said.

An Eastern Michigan SAG degree program includes courses of texturing and mapping; environmental design, simulation and animation dynamics; and gaming programming, developing and design.

The popular job search site, Careerbuilder.com, said current salaries for these computer gaming positions start at $45,000 and can go up to $100,000 for a developer or programmer.

When putting a curriculum together with an articulate agreement, a lot of planning is involved.

EMU looks at the community college to see what needs to be done to have a smooth transition into EMU’s programs.

“[This is] a way to help students who cannot afford a four-year degree, to get 60 hours at a lower rate,” Boyless said.

The curriculum for articulation agreement calls for students to achieve a minimum of 79 credits at MCC before transferring to Eastern to earn their bachelor’s degree in SAG. To complete the bachelor’s degree, students would need 36-41 credits at EMU.

“We are on a mission to help southeastern Michigan and the economy of the state,” Kansa said.

The articulation agreement opens the door for more students to be able to afford a four-year degree and allows each student to easily transfer all of their credits into the SAG program, while staying in southeast Michigan.

EMU currently has 101 articulation agreements among community colleges, and the SAG program may not be done signing articulation agreements.

“[We] will be looking to develop more articulation agreements with other community colleges,” Boyless said.

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