'A new day' for community colleges

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM

The Michigan Legislature recently approved a bill allowing community colleges to grant bachelor’s degrees in four fields: culinary arts, energy production, maritime and cement technology.

The bills await Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.

Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary said the college’s board will consider the possibility of granting degrees in those programs, although the legislation wouldn’t require it. He wasn’t sure when those discussions would begin.

“They’ve expressed interest in learning more about the areas,” Nesbary said about the college's trustees.

Although the pending state law would allow the traditionally two-year colleges with the ability to grant bachelor's degrees in the four fields, an energy production program has the attention of MCC’s officials, said Teresa Sturrus, the college's vice president of academic affairs. She said MCC officials plan to begin exploring the opportunity to offer a degree in that field, but they will discuss other program offerings as well.

“I think all of our options are open,” Sturrus said.

If the bill is signed into law, Nesbary said the college's next steps would involve speaking with staff and students for their input about which programs would best serve them and the community.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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