The University Record, May 24, 1993

Community college agreement will ‘demystify’ U for transfer students

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

The University has entered into an agreement with Highland Park, Jackson, Lansing and Wayne County community colleges to encourage qualified underrepresented minority students to continue their education at U-M.

The Mandate Encouraging Transfer Agreement (META) for Scholars of Color, signed by the participating institutions May 19, is an outreach program that stresses early identification and counseling of African American, Hispanic American and Native American students enrolled at the community colleges.

Students in the program who have completed the majority of their community college studies and who meet various academic criteria will receive “preferred consideration” for admission to several

U-M schools (requirements for each school differ). The program also allows for an early determination of the students’ admissibility to U-M.

Units participating include the School of Dentistry, College of Engineering, LS&A, School of Natural Resources and Environment, School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy.

“It’s a very timely effort on the part of the University and the community colleges,” said Charles D. Moody, vice provost for minority affairs. “I think what it does for students at community colleges is show them that they have opportunities beyond a two-year degree, that they’re on a continuum along the road of education.”

According to Jacina M. Davis, assistant to the vice provost for minority affairs, nearly 50 percent of minority students in higher education are enrolled in community colleges. “We see this agreement in keeping with our commitment to insure access for underrepresented students of color and with our continued commitment to enhance our relationships with our neighboring communities,” she said.

Under the four-year agreement, students will receive joint counseling, mentoring and advising from U-M and their community college personnel.

The University also will invite students and family members to the Ann Arbor campus during the students’ first semester at their community college and at least twice a year after that to familiarize them with U-M and its programs.

“META will help demystify the University,” Moody said. “Students will feel like this is home and that they’re not coming to something foreign.”

The agreement also is intended to strengthen counseling and advising relationships between the community colleges and the University with the goal of providing better support to all students who may consider attending U-M.

“I think it’s very important that universities have a diverse student population that matches the population of the nation at large,” said Rafael Cortada, president of Wayne County Community College. “Inasmuch as we now have a shrinking pipeline of minority students, anything that opens that pipeline is going to be advantageous.”