Success Story: Trio wins statewide Innovation in Transfer award

November 20, 2019

Jerry Dobek, Deb Maison and Jay SmithUpdates to NMC’s longstanding engineering partnership with Michigan Technological University designed to increase student success and reduce costs will receive statewide recognition this week.

Faculty members Jerry Dobek (seated) Jay Smith (right) and NMC adviser Deb Maison (center) will receive the 2019 Innovation in Transfer Award on Thursday at a statewide conference.

The trio’s work to establish a “2 + 2” program with MTU in seven different engineering specialties is especially significant as more universities seek to enroll students for all four years, rather than accepting them as transfer students from community colleges. NMC was also ahead of others in the state in terms of a transfer pathway specifically for engineering.

“Michigan Tech is acknowledging the quality of our courses, the quality of our instruction, and the quality of our students with this agreement,” said Lindsey Dickinson, NMC director of advising, who nominated the trio for their 18 months of work. Students who complete NMC’s engineering certificate with a 2.75 GPA are guaranteed admission to MTU, entering as juniors to complete their bachelor of science. The agreements are expected to increase NMC’s enrollment pipeline to one of Michigan's leading engineering schools, located in Houghton, Mich.

“Our engineering program here is in a growth period, which should only be aided by agreements like these,” Smith said.

The first seven agreements became effective this fall. Another 12 are in the works, Dobek said. They plan to work with other schools, including Kettering University, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University, to establish more engineering options.

Other community colleges are also seeking NMC’s advice on how to replicate the agreements, Dickinson said.

NMC-MTU engineering articulation agreements date to 1990. The new agreements reflect how engineering programs have changed and how graduation requirements have become more specialized. Read more at

Beyond engineering, NMC has articulation agreements in place with 35 educational institutions for more than 100 programs. Read more at

NEXUS Winter 2019 cover with Tim NelsonRead more about it

Read about more success stories like the NMC-MTU partnership in the next issue of Nexus, the NMC magazine. The next issue mails Dec. 16 with a cover story on retiring president Timothy J. Nelson’s legacy, a feature on NMC’s reality TV stars, and much more. Call (231) 995-1021 to have one sent to your mailbox!

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