Bay College and NMU team up to help students

Elizabeth Bailey

Northern Michigan University makes graduation easier for students, and with the new agreement between Bay College in Escanaba.

The agreement is the first of its kind, and it will allow students in the central part of the U.P. to “stay local.”

“This program assures that students will smoothly transfer from Bay’s associates degree in network administration to NMU’s degree in computer networking,” said Mark Highum, computer systems instructor at Bay College.

Although the transfer process is the same, according to Randy Appleton, NMU computer science professor, once you’re accepted, it is “smooth sailing.”

“Basically it’s a promise to transfer students that they will graduate in four years,” Appleton said.

The program has a specific set of classes that will all transfer to NMU computer networking degree.

The majority of the classes are in the informational technology field, including computer science, object-oriented programming and network programming, along with upper level math requirements.

Appleton said there might also be a few required liberal studies classes thrown in the mix.

“If students follow what is prescribed in that agreement, they will seamlessly be accepted into NMU’s College of Arts and Sciences for the completion of the bachelor’s program,” Highum said.

This opportunity can only help those that are interested in staying at community college for the first two years.

“While the agreement is designed to work specifically with Bay College’s new associate of arts in network administration, current students in the computer network systems and security department can use the articulation as a starting point for a smoother transition to NMU than what was previously available,” Highum said. “What that means is that not every course from the existing degree will be applied to the bachelor’s program, but any of those in the articulation agreement will definitely be accepted.”

The Bay board approved the program, which took more then a year to get into working order.

It is finally ready for students to take advantage of and will be enacted in the fall semester of 2012.

According to Appleton, there are already students on NMU’s campus that are on the track that the agreement hopes to pave.

“We are hitting the ground running at full speed, and we expect that this new agreement will be the beginning of a long partnership,” Highum said.

According to Appleton they estimate that six to eight students will partake in this transfer program each year, which he said is a nice increase for the program.

“It’s an experiment that we hope works, and if it does then we’ll be doing more of this kind of thing,” Appleton said.