Wayne State University and Wayne County Community College District have partnered on a new pathways program to help students with associate's degrees transfer to WSU to secure a bachelor's degree without losing credits and potentially saving on tuition costs. (Shutterstock)

This fall, the pathway to a bachelor’s degree will be more accessible for Wayne County Community College District students.

Wayne State University and WCCCD have partnered on the “Transfer Pathways Agreement,” a new program to help maximize credits students earn while completing an associate’s degree at the community college district and transferring to WSU to complete their bachelor’s degree, the schools announced Tuesday.

The agreement aims to limit the potential loss of credits and help families save tuition dollars. 

“This partnership will help more students forge career pathways to high-wage and in-demand job opportunities that will allow them to grow in place, support themselves and their families, and help their communities grow,” WCCCD Chancellor Curtis L. Ivery said in a statement. 

WCCCD Pathways students who meet program requirements will receive guaranteed admission to WSU. Students can qualify if they have earned at least 60 credit hours with a 2.5 or higher GPA and completed their associate degree at WCCCD. 

Under the program, students will have a “seamless” transfer between schools, with the goal of completing a bachelor’s degree within four years. Eligible students can apply for WSU transfer merit scholarships – valued at up to $6,000 per year – and will receive specialized academic advising and career counseling prior to transferring and once they enroll at WSU. 

The impact of this partnership will result in significant savings for students, officials noted. Tuition and fees for WSU are approximately $14,000 per year and WCCCD is approximately $3,000 per year. 

The partnership is expected to allow students to transfer over two years (60-70) credits from WCCCD to WSU. 

Michael Quattro, director of educational outreach and transfer Initiatives at WSU, said the university will waive its application fee for students in the WCCCD pathway programs when they apply to transfer, which he noted is “an immediate savings for families.”

“However, the biggest savings will be realized when qualified students receive guaranteed admission to WSU and the university accepts all the credits earned at WCCCD,” he added, in a statement to BridgeDetroit.

“Pathways students who have received their associate degree as outlined will not have to complete additional prerequisites or repeat courses before being admitted to the Pathway at Wayne State,” Quattro continued. “Because they transfer in with junior status, they will delve into their program and immediately begin completing the requirements for their bachelor’s. No time, credits or tuition dollars are wasted.”

WSU Pathways students can transfer with an associate degree in any major including business, criminal justice, public health, social work and urban studies. Students in the welding and metallurgical engineering technology Pathway must have an associate degree in welding technology, he said.

Some Pathways will allow WCCCD students to transfer in more earned credits than in the past, when students were limited to transferring 64 community college credits. Students in business can transfer in 80 credits; criminal justice will accept 75 credits; social work will accept 69 credits; and urban studies will accept 75 credits.

When WCCCD students with a 3.25 cumulative GPA complete their free transfer application to Wayne State by the required deadline, they will automatically be considered for transfer merit scholarships valued at $2,000, $4,000 or $6,000 per year for up to two years, Quattro said. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 will be considered for scholarships valued at $1,000 per year for up to two years.

WSU President M. Roy Wilson said the agreement strengthens the collaboration that already exists between the two institutions and elevates it to a new level.

“But, more importantly, it benefits students in Detroit and Wayne County and contributes to the region and state’s competitiveness,” he said.

“…we are offering students – including nontraditional and adult learners – high-quality education and seamless pathways to earn two degrees,” Wilson said, “which will set them on a trajectory of economic advancement and social mobility.”

Besides dedicated “Student Success Team Members,” information about the new pathways agreement will be shared with students via mail and phone along with a variety of platforms including student email blasts, website and social media. 

Students with questions about Pathways can email the WSU Transfer Student Success
Center at transfer@wayne.edu, call (313) 577-2487 or visit wayne.edu/transfer.

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