Wayne State and Macomb Community College sign historic “Honors WayneDirect” and “Honors Transfer” agreementMarch 24, 2011
WSU’s Irvin D. Reid Honors College will offer on-site courses and Presidential scholarships to high-achieving Macomb Community College students
DETROIT-Beginning in fall 2011, high-achieving freshmen entering Macomb Community College and Macomb transfer students, will have an opportunity to join the Irvin D. Reid Honors College of Wayne State University (WSU). The provosts of Macomb and WSU are expected to sign the "Honors WayneDirect" and "Honors Transfer" articulation agreement this afternoon. Under the new "Honors WayneDirect" agreement, students who begin at Macomb will be able to graduate from WSU with University Honors-the highest academic distinction Wayne State offers - and earn significant financial awards in the process. It previously has not been possible for community college transfer students to complete Wayne State's Honors requirements or qualify for the university's Presidential scholarships.
"This is a unique collaboration," said Jerry Herron, dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. "Two great institutions -- one a major research university and the other an outstanding community college -- are partnering to share students and resources in a way no one else is. We are pioneering a concurrent honors program, bridging city and suburb to give community college students the best of all possible worlds."
The Irvin D. Reid Honors College offers experiential learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. Honors' mission is to promote informed, engaged citizenship as the foundation for academic excellence. As Michigan's third largest university and its only urban research university, Wayne State is among only 2.3 percent of universities in the nation classified as having "very high" research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
According to James Sawyer, provost and vice president for the Learning Unit at Macomb Community College, Honors WayneDirect is a natural next step for Macomb, which has about 24,000 students.
"Bringing Wayne State University's honors program directly to Macomb County residents is an important new opportunity that supports high-achieving, highly motivated students who are beginning their college studies in our community," he said. "Macomb Community College's long-standing partnership with WSU and our ongoing commitment to leverage the power of collaboration to cost-effectively expand educational options is critical in increasing the proportion of community members with college degrees."
Through Honors WayneDirect, Macomb students can take courses at both the Macomb and WSU campuses as they gradually transition into full-time Wayne State students. Freshman students at Macomb who are chosen for Honors WayneDirect will register simultaneously for the regular WSU Honors freshman-year sequence. Macomb students will "attend" the lecture portion of courses online one hour per week. They will also register for a small-enrollment seminar to be conducted by WSU Honors faculty at the Macomb University Center. As participants in Honors WayneDirect, Macomb students will be full-fledged members of the Honors College freshman class. In their second year, the Macomb students will again register for one WSU Honors course per semester.
To be considered for Honors WayneDirect, students must be admitted to Macomb and submit a completed application to WSU by June 1, 2011, indicating their interest in the program. Upon admission, students will be selected to participate in a special Scholars Day at Macomb. Selections will be based on the student's overall academic record, an essay and interview score. Students invited into Honors WayneDirect will also receive a Presidential scholarship that covers Wayne State tuition in semesters in which they are taking 11 or fewer Wayne State credits. In any semester in which they are taking 12 or more Wayne State credits, they will receive an annual $8,600 scholarship to be applied toward WSU tuition and fees. Honors WayneDirect awards will be presented following the Scholars Day event.
"Macomb and WSU are building on a long-term relationship that demonstrates our joint commitment to Macomb County and its residents," said Wayne State University Provost Ronald T. Brown. "We have three extension locations in the county to give students an opportunity to access the resources of a four-year research university and complete undergraduate and graduate degrees at those sites."
Macomb transfer students accepted as Wayne State Honors Transfer students are offered dedicated advising; special sections of general education courses; designated floors for those wishing to live on campus; and the opportunity to graduate with departmental honors. As students work toward their chosen degrees, they will complete at least 12 hours of Honors coursework, including a senior thesis and a seminar (specific requirements are determined by individual departments). Students accepted into Honors Transfer must maintain good standing in the college and progress toward their degree as a condition of ongoing enrollment.
A select number of Macomb students accepted into the Irvin D. Reid Honors College as Honors Transfer students will receive a Presidential Transfer scholarship of $8,600 per year for two years at WSU. Formerly, Presidential scholarships could be awarded only at the freshman level.
To be considered for entrance into the Irvin D. Reid Honors College, students must have a Macomb Community College GPA of 3.3 or higher; have earned a minimum of 50 transferrable credit hours by the start of the fall semester; and, submit a completed application to WSU by April 15. Like Honors WayneDirect, Honors Transfer applicants will be selected to participate in a special Scholars Day at Macomb and have a similar award notification process.
Brown is enthusiastic about the future of this unprecedented partnership with Macomb Community College. "Through Honors WayneDirect and Honors Transfer, we recognize the excellence of Macomb and reward its top performing students with access to the best that Wayne State has to offer," he said. "We are eager to make them feel at home."
Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.
Macomb Community College is one of the nation's leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to more than 48,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college's comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.