THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
The University of Toledo will partner with Schoolcraft College and Wayne State University, offering university degree programs at the Livonia, Mich., community college
Called “Schoolcraft to U,” the initiative allows students at the college to enroll in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered by either UT or Detroit’s Wayne State, taking their coursework at the college. The University of Toledo will offer nursing and criminal justice programs, while Wayne State will handle business and engineering degrees.
The program begins in fall 2014.
It’s common for community colleges and four-year schools to partner in degree completion programs, where students do early coursework at the college and finish a bachelor’s or other degree at the larger school. But those arrangements usually involve a physical transfer to the four-year institution. The new relationship would allow students to complete their degrees entirely at Schoolcraft, essentially placing UT and Wayne State at the school.
In many ways, the arrangement is the first step in creating a satellite UT campus, said Larry Burns, UT vice president for external affairs.
Most of the “Schoolcraft to U” programs will be housed in a 110,000-square-foot building the college purchased last year. Mr. Burns said the building will have signs for UT and Wayne State, and faculty, advisers, and other university staff will be based there.
General education courses would be taught by Schoolcraft staff, and tuition for those courses would go to the college. Much of the coursework offered by UT initially will be done online, though the Michigan campus will have faculty.
For now, the relationship resembles other degree-completion partnerships UT has with several area community colleges. But UT President Lloyd Jacobs said he hoped it would evolve into something closer to a branch campus for the university. Higher education institutions, he said, are moving away from a location-based, centralized identity, and instead will be regional, national, and global brands, with coursework offered at numerous locations and in different formats.
“Education is now global,” Dr. Jacobs said. “It can no longer be place bound.”
Mr. Burns said the initiative was part of a UT effort to market heavily in southeast Michigan, a plan that has increased enrollment from students in the region by about 70 percent in the last six years. UT officials hope that between 100 and 200 students enroll in the program for the first semester, with an eventual goal of 400 students.
Those accepted into the UT program would qualify for scholarships that cover out-of-state tuition surcharges.