Neo Nutcracker at WCC
Washtenaw Community College’s Performing Arts Department presents “Neo Nutcracker,” an adaptation of the Nutcracker that tells the classic story, but with a new twist on music and dance.
The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara and her nutcracker as they journey together one Christmas Eve.
“Neo Nutcracker” will include performances of local dance groups, including Mav Cru, Rare Paragon Gems, Patchwerk Dance Troupe and Sole Full of Rhythm, among others. Music and choreography was arranged by WCC students.
“Neo Nutcracker” will be showing on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. in the Towsley Auditorium in the ML building. Tickets are $5.
For more information, phone 734-677-5090.
WCC faculty and staff are coming together to contribute to the VA during the holiday season.
Donations are being accepted for veterans in the Ann Arbor VA Nursing Home. Led by Debbie Freeman, childcare professional, the group brings holiday cheer to veterans each Dec. 24.
Donations can be made by cash or check in several locations around campus, including the cashier’s office, BE 200, SC 206, TI 122 and GM 300, among others. To volunteer, contact Beverly Leneski at the VA at 734-845-3467.
Activists speak out for the Congo
By ALAINA O’CONNOR
Imagine going to bed every night not knowing if your husband will be murdered, your children ripped from your arms or your body used as weapon of war. That’s been the reality for millions of Congolese women, and it’s the reason Lori Simpson woke up and vowed do something about it.
“I wanted to shed some light on what’s going on in this part of the world,” said Simpson, 24, a nursing student from Ann Arbor who participated in the Congo Activists of Michigan’s Congo Week. “Most people aren’t aware of what’s happening to the women and children in Central Africa.”
On Nov. 19, group members, local human rights activists and curious passers-by kicked off the week at the University of Michigan Undergraduate Library to raise awareness of the conflict in the Congo.
“The purpose of Congo Week is to educate the community and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo,” said Brooke Sparling an Ann Arbor resident who formed the group. “The events are leading up to our candle light vigil on Dec. 10 for Human Rights Day.”
The activists set up action stations providing tools, resources and fact sheets. They also screened the film, “Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth,” a short documentary looking at the history of events that lead to the conflict in Central Africa.
“The film is what really pulled me in,” said Rose Fulbright, 21, a liberal arts transfer from Ann Arbor. “Lori is my roommate and hearing her talk about these issues is one thing, but seeing it, well, it’s shocking.”
In April, Simpson saw a flyer on a bulletin board at the Ann Arbor Public Library looking for participants in the Congo Activists of Michigan’s annual Hike for the Congo. Participants spend two-days hiking to raise money and awareness about the conflict in the African nation, and Simpson decided she wanted to be part of the solution.
“I did a little bit of research beforehand and learned about the systematic violence, especially when it comes to women and children,” Simpson said. “That was enough for me.”
“My biggest is the idea of conflict minerals,” said Erin Elly, 40, a social worker from Ann Arbor. “The Congo is so rich in natural resources – diamonds, cold, copper, timber, rubber. I think one of the easiest things we can do to help is stop buying products from companies that source their materials from the Congo.”
But for Simpson, the conflict comes down to one simple fact.
“When you really break it down it’s simple,” Simpson said. “The victims could be anyone. It could be me.”
WHAT: Candle light vigil for Human Rights Day, sponsored by the Congo Activists of Michigan
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7p.m.
WHERE: University of Michigan Diag
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By MARIA RIGOU
Washtenaw Community College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday to exempt the college’s taxes from capture by the Corridor Improvement Authority in Pittsfield Township.
Representatives from Pittsfield Township presented the project at the Nov. 12 board meeting. The township is trying to raise $30 million over 20 years for the State Street Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA). It would require capturing a percentage of taxes from several local entities, including $2.9 million from WCC that would have come from the millage assigned to education by voters.
“When we tell voters we are going to do something with the money, we are going to do it,” board Vice-Chair Patrick McLean said. “This proposal doesn’t meet the threshold.”
Other board members agreed with McLean’s statement.
“The money that (the college) receives for education is best spent on education,” board Secretary Mark Freeman said. “We need to use the money for our students because it is our mission.”
William Johnson, the newest addition to WCC administration, has been CFO since late July. He has been “getting his feet wet” and learning how things are done at the college and talked to Voice Editor Maria Rigou about the financial state of the college and what are some challenges that education is facing right now.
Washtenaw Voice: What is the state of the college right now, financially – compared to when you arrived? Your job was vacant for nearly nine months. How did this affect things?
William Johnson: Fortunately it didn’t affect it much at all in the sense that there was a good financial team here with Lynn Martin as controller and Barb Fillinger as director of budget. The two of them really are the core, them and their team. So really they were able to keep things moving as they should throughout the process. And when I walked in the door what I found was a very strong set of financial processes that helped support the overall mission of the college.
(The state of the college financially) is strong. . . When you look at it, we’ve had significant investment in fixed assets, the capital assets of our college, our buildings, and the technology in the classrooms. . . a variety of things that support learning in the college. We’ve had the opportunity to make strong capital investments as well as been able to reduce the long-term debt of the college during this period.
WV: It may be a bit early, but soon you will have to make a recommendation to the board about tuition. How do you see it trending? Is it going to stay as it is or is it going to increase?
WJ: We certainly don’t have a recommendation yet. The college is going through a very deep analysis to understand the market demand for our programs relative to the competition. It’s a critical assessment of the strength of our programs against the market demand and then benchmark against other schools who offer similar programs.
WCC has some of, if not, the lowest rates in the region for a number of programs that are being offered. Our goal is to keep those numbers at the lowest cost possible and yet still meet the quality requirements that the students expect. We have amazing faculty who deliver strong courses for our students. We want to make sure that our faculty has the resources they need to meet if not exceed the expectation of our students.
So our goal is to keep that tuition rate as low as possible. That is certainly the bias that I walk into all this analysis, and we will work very, very hard to make sure that if and when I were to make a recommendation to our president and then potentially to our board, that it’d be based upon those fundamental analysis.
WV: Can you tell us more about the Pell Grants? We know that they have gone down since 2011 and we know that it’s because of changes at the federal level. How does this impact our students?
WJ: That is a really good question. That is a very important issue for our students. The government has put a lifetime cap on the amount of Pell funding that (students) can receive and it is the equivalent of six full time years of education. That is the maximum that they can receive. For many of our students, that has caught them cold, in that they may have been following a path for education that was maybe not as efficient as they would otherwise have achieved if they had known about this cap on the Pell Grant.
Suddenly that the government imposes this cap and they don’t grandfather in those who have already started their education. … It’s put more pressure on the students to avail themselves to other state and federal-funding sources such as loans. It’s put a burden on our students to take out loans or to get a second job, first or second job to be able to support their education.
WV: The community college has a restriction on investments set by the state of Michigan. What can you tell us about the Pittsfield Township Road proposal?
WJ: I think the board deliberated very, very hard to make this call. Obviously, the board views the development of our surrounding communities to be important to the long-term success of the region and in an indirect way to the community college as well.
I think that the fundamental question that they grappled with and they answered was ‘What is the intent of the taxpayers we receive the property tax millage from?’ The college receives about $46 million a year in property tax revenue and that millage was for the sole purpose… for the education pursuits of the community college, and in and of itself did not provide direct guidance as to how they could then make a solid investment of those funds. So I think the board made a difficult but reasonable call given the guidelines that they were given by the taxpayers.
WV: We went over the audit report for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, and we have some questions. What does it mean that WCC is consistently running at an operating loss since 2011?
WJ: What does that mean? That means that… First of all, we are generally running at an operating surplus, but when you adjust for funds for capital, meaning that the investments that we make in our campus and for servicing or paying off our long term debt, that is when we would be running at a loss.
It’s how much of our operations are funded through the general fund activities of the college, meaning our tuition activities, our property taxes fund that we receive, less of the cost of delivering those services. That we have historically always run at a surplus.
We run at a loss when you then say ‘how much do I want to allocate to invest in plant, in the campus? How much do I want to invest?’ Meaning that we are willing to take our general-fund surplus to invest in capital, in the environment in which our students learn.
WV: About 63 percent of the college’s investments are in Ann Arbor’s Fifth Third Bank. In the event of a failure of the bank, what would happen?
WJ: Actually, we have two different pools of investments. We have short-term cash and as of a certain point in time there is a portion that is maintained with Fifth Third Bank, as is a portion with PNC Bank, which are our primary commercial accounts that we use.
But, the college also has a significant amount of long-term investments which are held with a number of firms that meet the Community College Act 331 Investment Guidelines. Most of those investments are held in U.S. Treasuries or other forms of short-term and medium-term interest yielding investment accounts. When you look at cash as of a point in time and you look at our portion of the cash in Fifth Third Bank, that is just the normal commercial bank accounts and that will adventide as student refund money comes in and it goes out the door and as property tax revenues come in and then are paid out to help support the college.
WV: What are some of the challenges that the college is facing right now? Revenue? Grants? Etc…
WJ: I think that WCC faces many of the challenges as many other higher institutions. Look at the demographics of high school graduates for our region and for our state. It’s showing that over the next 5-10 years there are steady declines. And so when you look at the marketplace, at least a portion of the WCC market, you would see that that’s going to diminish over time.
At the same time, there has been a strong increase in the number of higher-ed institutions in the region, both at the four-year school, private and non-private side. And so there is increased competition, the public schools have had constant pressure from reduced funding at the state level, so they’ve had to react to that as well. You take those two factors of increased competition and reduced funding from the state level, coupled with this longer-term view of lower high school graduates, makes for even more increased competition.
That competition, frankly, is energizing for the Washtenaw team – faculty and staff alike – because it really allows us to answer those good, honest-heart questions around what is our relevancy, what does the county and the community surrounding the county want from us? How do we best serve them? And those challenges are the ones that are embedded within the strategic plan that our President, Dr. (Rose) Bellanca helped lead over the last couple of years where we laid out an eight-point initiative that is really the guiding foundation of all of our actions.
WV: What are some of the long-term challenges?
WJ: There are longer-term challenges and that is both at a federal and at a state level. The criteria that the U.S. and state government are asking us to measure success for student outcomes, so competency-based education outcomes is becoming a cornerstone of how the way we teach. The results of our teaching need to align with them, both from a competency level and its alignment to the economy and the needs of the economy in terms of the skills that it requires.
So more than before we need to be very much aware of what those mandates are calling for in terms of competency-based outcomes and how do we align the programs that we offer and the underline curricula that goes with that. And that takes time. It’s a very deliberate process that requires strong engagement across the academic community, and that as an administration we need to know to support that in order to meet the expectations of our government agencies.
WV: What are some of the long-term goals that WCC has set?
WJ: Those goals are to make us sustainable. Sustainable to meet the community needs. And that’s the fun part, because it’s ever-changing. It’s short-term because you have to understand where those trends are going, and it’s long-term in the sense that you need to make some calculated risks around what those expectations are going to be and then to modify and make new programs to meet those need.
So for instance, the needs of a high school student tomorrow might be different than the needs today because the skill set of students coming out of high school tomorrow are going to be different, both from the way that they’ve learned and the technology that they’ve used. So how do you align your curriculum and your learning methods to be able to do that?
Secondly, with the adult-learner population, WCC plays a very important role in creating opportunities for career changes, for re-skilling of one needs, desires and wants, around where they want to go in their life. How do we make sure that our programs are relevant for what students… what adult learners will want? And how do we align that with the changing economic times? The employer base, the government base is constantly evolving in this community. How do we stay in step with those demands?
WV: What is WCC doing well?
WJ: Many things. I think I’ll start with…. the quality of the learning environment here is outstanding. I’ve been very, very impressed with out faculty, with the administrative support for the faculty, with the campus environment… It’s just excellent.
If you look at the diversity of our student population from ethnicity from an age, from certificates that we offer to associate degrees that we offer, it’s excellent. The connection that we have with out programs and the employer community is good and is getting better every day because the college is putting a strong focus on that. If you look at the work that we are doing with the adult learner community and the way that we are able to avail ourselves of federal and state money to help provide a gateway for training opportunities is very, very good.
The resources we have to the community at large, from a campus point of view, from our Wellness Center point of view, via adult enrichment programs that we have and just the shared diversity of programs that we have, it’s an amazing resource. Our job is to continue to allow that to be a thriving element of our community and to do it at the lowest cost possible, and to use the dollars that our taxpayers have entrusted in us to its high use.
And that is something that I think we’ve done a very good job in the past, and in light of all the issues that we talked about earlier in this interview, I think it will be an ongoing challenge but I know that the entire college community is up for it.
By ERIC GARANT
Courtesy photo World Wildlife Foundation
Michigan-based protest group Forest Heroes has been pressuring Kellogg’s to end its relationship with palm oil-manufacturer Wilmar International for months.
The group has now taken the fight into Kellogg’s backyard.
A recent protest at Kellogg’s corporate headquarters in Battle Creek drew more than 80 people and extensive media coverage.
Wilmar was ranked as the world’s least-sustainable corporation by Newsweek magazine in 2012 because of its practices and how it has contributed to the deforestation of Indonesia.
The event, called the “Cereal Bowl,” saw protesters pour petitions and letters of protest out of an oversized Frosted Flakes box into a giant bowl in front of the “House that Tony Built.”
The event comes on the heels of a lot of other talk on sustainable palm oil, said protester Colleen Rathz, a University of Michigan student from Ann Arbor, adding that Nutella plans to go deforestation-free in 2014.
“On a personal level, it was amazing to be a part of something like that,” Rathz said.
Washtenaw Community College students won big last Monday at the Detroit 48 Hour Film Horror Project.
“R Team” was composed of Washtenaw students Kevin Jackson, Jeremy Liesen, Shane Law, Will Blattman, Justin Erion, Przemek Ozog, Shannon Tripplett, Travis Reynolds. Their short film “Love Thy Neighbor” was awarded Best Horror Movie, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design and Best Original Music Score.
The group submitted the piece with only two minutes to spare before the deadline, Jackson said.
“It’s given us the incentive. . . to pursue another project,” said Jackson, adding that the group plans to begin working soon on a 30-minute feature.
Watch the film here:
By ALAINA O’CONNOR
The Ann Arbor City Council voted overwhelming to include Ypsilanti Township as a member in the ever-expanding Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, making it second municipality outside of Ann Arbor to gain membership this year.
“They’re coming to our city to work. They’re coming to our city to go to school,” said Mayor John Hieftje at the Nov. 18 meeting. “They’re coming to Ann Arbor and that’s a good thing.”
This is good news for WCC students, many of whom commute to school by bus each and every day.
“I do ride the bus to school,” said Damon Conway, 20, from Ypsilanti. “If the bus covers more areas, that’s good.”
The proposed service changes in Ypsilanti Township and surrounding areas are part of the AAATA’s five-year transportation improvement plan, which would enhance existing services and routes, increase transit access in underserved areas and provide more frequent service with redesigned routes.
“It’s good to have Ypsilanti Township intimately involved so that we can work together,” council member Christopher Taylor, D-Ward 3, said during the meeting. “It’s important to build the process to make sure that our residents are served.”
WCC partnered with the AAATA to provide free bus rides from campus for students and employees. However, students must pay to get to the school and the service can sometimes be sporadic.
“I don’t ride the bus, but I know people who do,” said Kristal Hawkins, 24, from Ann Arbor. “People complain because the bus is always late and you can only go one way for free. U-M students get to ride for free both ways.”
The City Council is considering a 0.7-mill tax on the May ballot in each municipality that’s officially a member of AAATA.
“This entire plan is predicated on passing a millage in the spring and that millage will establish unequal participation by the various communities that belong to AAATA,” said Council Member Jack Easton, D-Ward 4. “I would hope that we could find a more equitable means of funding.”
For more information visit: www.theride.org
Careful what you kiss, experts say, as disfiguring disease spreads
By MARIA RIGOU
“You have to be cautious of what you are putting in your mouth,” said Kristina Sprague, faculty member of the Dental Assisting Program at Washtenaw Community College.
That’s good advice.
Each year, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer (cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx) are diagnosed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Oral cancer is a cancer that starts in the mouth and can extend to the pharynx, which is the part of the throat that is just behind the mouth.
The oral cavity includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue and the bony roof of the mouth. The pharynx is the part of the throat just behind the mouth. It begins where the oral cavity stops and includes the base of the tongue, the soft palate, the tonsils and the side and back wall of the throat, according to the American Cancer Society’s description.
In recent years, incidence of oral cancer has increased, especially in individuals aged 14-44. The number of oral cancer patients has increased over a six-year period and, in comparison, all other cancers have declined. The new oral cancer risk factor is exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is transmitted through saliva, sexual and skin-to-skin contact.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, according to CDC. Most types of HPV are not harmful. However, there are more than 40 strains of HPV that can infect the genital areas as well as the mouth and throat.
“According to CDC, there are 12,000 individuals that contract the HPV virus daily,” Sprague said. “There are lots of different strains, but only one is (responsible for causing) oral cancer.”
The five-year survival rate for oral and pharynx cancer is relatively low. About 50 percent of patients with this type of cancer survive, often with other consequences.
“Oral cancer is very disfiguring,” Sprague said. “We are talking of full-mouth extractions. (It) doesn’t have a high success rate.”
There are 40,000 new cases of oral cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx every year, according to CDC. Of those new diagnoses, 40 percent are young, non-smokers. HPV-related cancers are six times more common in men than in women.
Preventing high-risk behaviors like smoking (cigarette, cigar or pipe) and excessive use of alcohol are critical.
“We want to encourage people to go to the dentist to prevent occurrence,” Sprague said. “Don’t ignore the symptoms.”
Symptoms of oral and pharynx cancer can include:
- A sore in the mouth that does not heal
- Pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away
- A lump of thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
- A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat that doesn’t go away
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- Trouble moving the jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
- Voice changes
- A lump or mass in the neck
- Weight loss
- Constant bad breath
Source: American Cancer Society
The WCC Dental Clinic offers dental treatments during the Winter Semester. Dental treatment provided in the dental clinic is limited in scope. University of Michigan dental students perform the work and are supervised by community dentists. Treatments not available at WCC are referred to other dental professionals.
Calendar of Events
MONDAY DEC. 9
Make it, Take it: Ice Cream Sundaes will be offered in the SC Community Room. Event also on Wednesday from 5-6 p.m.
TUESDAY DEC. 10
Finals Fuel-up will offer snacks to students in the GM Lobby from noon-1 p.m. Students who miss the first event can fuel up on Wednesday, Dec. 11, as well.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 11
Friends of Bill AA Meeting will be held in LA 268 from noon-1 p.m.
Make it, Take it: Snowman lets participants create a snowman filled with cocoa and marshmallows for free from noon-1 p.m. in the SC Community Room.
THURSDAY DEC. 12
Payment deadline for students registered since Dec. 6. Pay to avoid being dropped from classes.
FAFSA Fridays offers students help with filing for financial aid from 2-4 p.m. in ML 124.
MONDAY DEC. 16
Fall Semester Ends.
SATURDAY DEC. 21
WCC offices closed on main campus.
Northwood University: Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
University of Phoenix: Dec. 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Concordia University: Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Eastern Michigan University: Dec. 11, 18, 19, 1-5 p.m.
By NATALIE WRIGHT
Brianna Swinton lost $500 because she chose the wrong math class. She thought her MTH 125 credit would count at Michigan State University, where she plans to transfer next fall. But it won’t.
Now, Swinton, an 18-year-old nursing major from Pinckney, has to put more time and money into another math course this spring in order to get into MSU.
“I know a lot of people have trouble transferring to State; it’s really hard to find classes that will transfer,” she said. “That class isn’t going to count for anything and that was really frustrating. It’s like $500 out the door.”
Swinton’s story is not unique. Community colleges are full of horror stories about hours and tuition dollars that were lost in the tangled web of transferring.
Fortunately for Swinton and so many others like her, the days of wasting time and money on credits that don’t transfer may soon be over.
The Michigan Transfer Agreement, which will take effect fall 2014, guarantees that a block of general education credits will transfer to any public university in Michigan.
It is the first statewide initiative to streamline the transfer process since 1973 and will be the first ever to be received by every public school in the state.
The MTA will replace the 40-year-old Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (MACRAO) transfer agreement, MACRAO President-elect John Meldrum said.
While the MACRAO agreement has only been accepted by a handful of universities, every four-year and two-year school in Michigan has agreed to sign on to the MTA, according to Meldrum, who is also an assistant dean and registrar at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
In essence, the MTA won’t be much different from the MACRAO agreement, but the fact that it will be universally accepted makes a world of difference, said Pat Cygnar, director of community relations at Eastern Michigan University, and EMU’s representative on the MTA committee.
“Unfortunately, we live in a state where there is no uniform higher education authority,” said Paula Welmers, a Counselor at North Central Michigan College and another member of the MTA committee.
Unlike many other states, there is no streamlined process for students who wish to transfer, Welmers said, and this makes the system inefficient for students, often wasting their time and money.
The MTA is very good news for Washtenaw students, Vice President of Student and Academic Services Linda Blakey said. It means that students will have all of the information about what will or will not transfer up front, which they really deserve as the consumer, she said.
The idea for the MTA was generated by the state legislature, Meldrum said.
In 2012 the Community College Appropriations Bill included boilerplate language that called for the creation of a 14-member committee to “develop a process to improve the transferability of core college courses…”
The committee was composed of five representatives from community colleges and five representatives from universities, chosen regionally by the Michigan Community College Association and the President’s Council State Universities of Michigan. Four legislators, Sen. Glenn Anderson, Sen. Darwin Booher, Rep. Kevin Cotter, and Rep. Pam Faris, also joined the committee.
Since it was established, the committee has been working to reach compromises.
Its goal: to draft an agreement which no school can take exception to in the future.
It’s important to recognize what a huge accomplishment this agreement is, Cygnar said.
In the first committee meeting, some of the university representatives were against the agreement and didn’t think it was a possibility for their schools, she said, but after a few more meetings they got on board.
“I think they realized that it really does make it easier for everyone,” she said.
In the last four decades, a lot of the universities have not accepted the MACRAO agreement, she said. And many MACRAO-receiving institutions have created provisos, or exceptions, to the agreement, Meldrum said. A university might accept the agreement but require a student retake one or more of the courses.
The basis of the MTA is to begin with a universal agreement, so that universities will have no reason to create these provisos, eliminating the surprises and subsequent frustration for students when they are ready to transfer.
The MTA will transfer as a block, with no course-by-course transfer process, Meldrum said.
“This means that when you transfer, hopefully you won’t have to take any more gen-ed classes. Your tuition dollars and time can go to junior- and senior-level classes,” Welmers said.
But while the MTA is guaranteed to transfer, universities can still require higher-level gen-eds, especially major-specific ones, Meldrum said.
“It doesn’t preclude institutions from having additional requirements, but they cannot nit-pick at those block courses,” he said.
While it will make the process of transferring simpler, some students may find the requirements of the MTA more challenging than the MACRAO agreement.
With the MACRAO agreement, grades in all of the courses had to average at least a 2.0. In the MTA, a student must achieve at least a 2.0 in each course, Meldrum said.
In the MACRAO agreement, you could avoid math; in the MTA you cannot.
“We haven’t quite nailed down the level of math that will be required,” Welmers said. “The universities want college-level algebra, the community colleges want intermediate level.”
And an additional science requirement has also been added to the MTA.
Students may have to work a little harder for the new agreement, Welmers said, but they can know that it’s worthwhile because it’s guaranteed to count.
“If you feel like your feet are being held to the fire a little bit, that’s how it’s going to be at the university level anyway. So you might as well adjust and learn at the community college while it’s cheaper,” she said.
For students who have been working towards transferring with the MACRAO agreement, there will probably be some overlap before the MACRAO is eliminated, Meldrum said.
There is still a lot of work to be done before the rollout next fall, but the committee and the schools are on track to make it happen, Meldrum said.
The current outline for the MTA was published on the MACRAO website on Nov. 27. It is mostly finalized, other than the decision over what level of math to include.
The next step is for all of the school presidents to officially sign on by Feb. 1, but they have all approved the agreement and given their intention to sign, Meldrum said.
On March 1 everything will be finalized.
“That’s when we’re going to go into full detail on how to implement the rollout,” he said.
In May, there will be regional academic adviser training.
In the fall, life for transfer students gets a lot easier.
This means more options for students like Lisa Lee, an 18-year-old business management major at WCC. Lee is planning to transfer to Western Michigan University, using the MACRAO agreement, but her heart isn’t set on WMU, she said.
She is looking at other options, she said, but she’s restricting herself to MACRAO-receiving schools. She’s also wary of the provisos some schools add on to the MACRAO, which she has been warned about. So, looking only for MACRAO receiving schools with no provisos really narrows her choices.
With a state-wide agreement, like the MTA, she said she would be able to seriously consider other options such as University of Michigan.