The well-being of our society and the foundation of our economy are well-educated citizens and workers, and as society becomes more global and complex, post-secondary education is increasingly vital to Michigan and its residents. Our state has set a goal of doubling the number of residents with baccalaureate degrees; doing so will be a considerable challenge for Michigan educators. By expanding the Michigan Colleges Online (MCO) to include baccalaureate completion partners, the collaborative will leverage the unique advantages afforded by technology to support baccalaureate completion opportunities to residents anywhere in Michigan.
The purpose of this memorandum of understanding is to establish the general framework for collaboration between Michigan community colleges and affiliated baccalaureate completion institutions and to serve as a formal consortium agreement among member colleges in order that students can receive financial assistance while enrolled in courses and programs offered through the collaborative.
The MCO is a project of the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), and only association members are eligible for general membership in the collaborative. Other colleges and universities may apply to become affiliate members of the MCO if the institution is accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency (and the institutional accreditation includes authority to offer online degree programs). It is expected that affiliate partner institutions will offer baccalaureate completion programs that:
Affiliate members may have representation on the MCO Advisory Council and may participate in all MCO activities. Affiliate members may attend MCCA Board of Directors meetings where issues related to the MCO will be considered.
Annual affiliate membership fees will be recommended by the MCO Executive Committee for adoption by the MCCA Board of Directors. Affiliate membership fees will be structured in a manner similar to MCCA membership dues. Affiliate membership fees will include both:
Affiliate membership fees will not exceed $15,000 per year, regardless of enrollment.
Inasmuch as it is anticipated that both the provider college and the home college will contribute significantly to the success of students enrolled through the collaborative, it is appropriate to share the revenue generated by those enrollments. Tuition revenue will be shared in the following proportions:
Affiliate members of the MCO are expected to participate in the collaborative in three distinct capacities:
Provider institution: make online classes available to students throughout Michigan via the MCO web site. Baccalaureate partner institutions will be limited to offering upper division courses on the collaborative web site. Provider institutions enroll students, collect tuition from students and participate in MCO tuition revenue sharing.
Degree-granting institution: offer programs of study to students anywhere in Michigan that may be completed entirely or mostly online. It is anticipated that students seeking degrees from member colleges may select courses from multiple provider colleges, and that credits earned for completion of such courses taken through the MCO will transfer to the degree-granting institution – to the extent that such courses meet program requirements. Degree-granting institutions will participate in the Financial Aid Consortium Agreement and make financial aid available to eligible students.
Home institution: experience has shown that learner support services are as critical to online student success as they are to traditional students. MCO students will select the most convenient institution to provide such services as:
Every member college will be expected to serve as the home college for any student who would select it as their home college. The home institution for each student will participate in MCO tuition revenue sharing.
It shall be a common goal of all members of the MCO to support students in the attainment of college credentials at all levels. Michigan community colleges will assist students in matriculating to baccalaureate completion programs; affiliate partners will likewise assist students in fulfilling requirements for associate degrees and provide community colleges with information about course completion that may result in the awarding of an associate degree from a community college.
As a condition of this memorandum of understanding, all member colleges will participate in an articulation agreement as described in the attached appendix. In order to effect this agreement, each member college will participate in a collaborative process to establish and maintain an on-line database of courses to be offered by provider colleges through the collaborative and the equivalent course at each MCO member college.
As a condition of this memorandum of understanding, all member colleges will participate in a financial aid consortium agreement as describe in the attached appendix. Federal student aid eligibility regulations (34 CFR & 600.9, April 5, 1988) require this agreement. Financial aid enrollment status for MCO students shall be calculated and reported on the basis of the total credits in which the student is enrolled – from the degree-granting college as well as online courses from all provider colleges. The financial aid consortium agreement will take effect on the date this memorandum is signed. The financial aid consortium agreement detailed in the appendix may be amended from time to time by the Michigan Community College Association Board of Directors upon recommendation of the MCCA Executive Committee, the MCO staff and the Michigan Community College Student Services Association and/or the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association.
Affiliate members agree to recognize the quality and affordability of community college courses and promote the MCO as a viable option for completing lower division coursework. Affiliate members agree to permit dual-enrollment and provide the necessary support (including financial aid) for dual-enrollment when that is in the best interest of the student.
This agreement will serve as the basis for affiliate membership in the MCO through
This agreement among the general and affiliate members of the Michigan Colleges Online is to facilitate concurrently enrolled students receipt of student financial assistance funds – both internal and external. Federal eligibility regulations (34 CFR & 600.9, April 5, 1988) require this agreement. This consortium agreement will take effect upon the signature of the President or designee of each participating member college and will govern the terms of delivery of student aid funds to students seeking financial assistance. This consortium agreement will be modified as required by any changes to Federal eligibility requirements or regulations or by mutual agreement of the participating member colleges.
The MCO financial aid consortium agreement includes the following provisions:
This agreement among the general and affiliate members of the Michigan Colleges Online is to facilitate the transfer of courses that students may take through the collaborative. The college or university identified as the degree-granting institution for each student (the college which offers the program of study in which the student is enrolled and will confer the certificate or degree for that student) will give appropriate credit for courses taken at “provider” colleges on the same basis as if the degree-granting college had provided that portion of the instructional program itself. The assumption underlying this agreement is that the degree-granting college has found the instruction of the provider college to be equivalent to, and a completely acceptable substitute for, its own instruction.
The degree-granting college may decline to give credit for courses not completed satisfactorily by a student. Each degree-granting college may utilize its own criteria for determining successful course completion.
In order to effect this agreement, each member college will participate in a collaborative process to establish and maintain an on-line database of courses to be offered by provider colleges through the collaborative and the equivalent course at each MCO member college. The content of this database will be available on-line to prospective students, as well as to administrators, faculty, advisors and staff from all member colleges. It will be the responsibility of participating colleges to maintain current and accurate information in the on-line database regarding the transferability of courses offered by the provider colleges through the collaborative. Each member will identify an official contact at the college to be responsible for providing information on transferability.