NMC takes next step towards state's first community college bachelor's degree

TRAVERSE CITY — Members of a review team from the Higher Learning Commission will be at Northwestern Michigan College next week conducting a focus visit as the college prepares to be the first community college in Michigan to offer a bachelor’s degree.

The Community College Baccalaureate Authorization bill passed the Michigan Legislature in December and was subsequently signed by Governor Rick Snyder.  The bill authorizes community colleges to offer technical bachelor’s degrees in four areas: maritime technology, cement technology, energy production and culinary arts.

"Authorization for community colleges to offer bachelor's degrees in select areas is an important first step for our students and future students in Michigan," NMC President Timothy J. Nelson said.  "This authorization, coupled with our current and continuing partnerships at the University Center, provide superior access to higher education for citizens in our region."

NMC is seeking to offer a bachelor’s degree in maritime technology as part of the college’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

Focus visits are part of the accreditation process and are conducted to assure that colleges have the necessary curriculum in place and all of the support services necessary to offer courses at a new degree level.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.

The decision on accreditation is expected in the fall, and NMC hopes to begin offering their bachelor’s degree in maritime technology in fall 2014.

Release date: August 2, 2013

For more information:
Andy Dolan, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing
(231) 995-1019