Davenport, KVCC form partnership


Kalamazoo Valley Community College offers bachelor's degrees through a partnership with Davenport University. Photo via fb.com

Students at a two-year southwestern Michigan college can now transfer credits toward a bachelor’s degree due to a new collaborative partnership.

Davenport University announced recently that it is partnering with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a public two-year academic institution, to become the first collaborative partner in the KVCC’s University Center and provide expanded academic opportunities for both student populations.

The center

KVCC’s University Center is located at 6767 West O Ave. on the Texas Township campus in Kalamazoo, which is the college’s original and largest location. The center’s model combines the “degree completion opportunities of four-year schools with the local convenience and services offered at a community college,” according to KVCC’s press release.

Marilyn Schlack, KVCC president, said University Center will expand post-secondary education options for students in southwest Michigan.

“Kalamazoo Valley will cooperate with four-year colleges and universities to provide students a variety of options that are not readily available in today’s market,” said Schlack in a press release.

The center allows students with a completed associate’s degree to continue their education at the KVCC campus in partnership with a four-year academic institution providing non-competing degree programs. With DU as its first collaborative partner, the center is officially launching this fall and providing bachelor degree programs that include: accounting, general business, management and medical case management.

The partnership

Richard Pappas, DU president, said establishing strong partnerships with community colleges is an essential component of the university’s Vision 2020 and the collaboration with KVCC is a win-win situation.

“KVCC is an outstanding community college and we have seen many students come through their system and into ours,” said Pappas. “There are some natural ties between their academic programs and ours, and an opportunity to work together to further improve upon students’ college experience.”

Through the partnership, not only will KVCC students have the ability to transfer credits toward a bachelor degree program at DU and continue learning on the Kalamazoo-based campus, but DU students also will be provided with access to a number of amenities available to KVCC students. The amenities include dining services, library access, computer labs, gym facilities and classrooms.

“KVCC has outstanding facilities that support students’ learning experience. DU students will benefit from the many amenities KVCC offers,” said Pappas. “Thinking beyond our current enrollment, however, this really offers current and future KVCC students an opportunity to continue their studies toward our four-year and graduate degrees at the same location.”

Schlack said KVCC is excited to have Davenport become part of University Center.

“Davenport’s focus on degrees that lead to careers is very consistent with our mission here at KVCC,” said Schlack. “We think the university center concept is a logical solution to the degree-completion challenges that many of our students face by providing new and unique opportunities.”

Pappas and Schlack signed a memorandum of understanding during a ceremony on Sept. 17 at KVCC’s Texas Township campus. DU will have offices within the KVCC University Center, share classrooms with the community college, and the DU classes will be taught by DU faculty, according to Pappas. 

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