Kellogg Community College today conferred an Associate in Arts degree upon Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who attended KCC in the 1970s before pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.
During a brief commencement ceremony on KCC’s campus in Battle Creek, Snyder highlighted the dual enrollment opportunities available to high school students in Michigan and the vital role that community colleges fulfill for students of all ages.
“Dual enrollment was a wonderful opportunity for me and my family,” Snyder said of the process in which high school students take college courses. “I’m proud to be awarded my associate degree from Kellogg Community College. And I’m equally proud that we’ve expanded opportunities for more Michigan high school students to take college classes, making higher education more affordable and exposing high-achieving students to college-level work.”
“I wouldn’t be who I am today but for Kellogg Community College,” Snyder said. “I’m proud to say I am an alumni now.”
KCC President Dennis Bona congratulated Snyder on the new degree and thanked him for highlighting his time spent on the Battle Creek campus. While he was a student at Lakeview Schools, Snyder took KCC courses at night and on weekends before graduating from high school several months early to enroll at U of M.
“We appreciate that Governor Snyder has set an example for high school and community college students, who can earn credits while in high school and complete an associate degree even after they’ve transferred to a university,” Bona said. “We’re also proud that the governor of Michigan is proving something we know to be true already: once a Bruin, always a Bruin.”
While he was a teen-ager at Lakeview High School in the 1970s, Snyder completed 25 credits at KCC as a dual-enrolled student before pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.
Earlier this year, KCC and the Michigan Community College Association invited Gov. Snyder to use Michigan’s reverse transfer process – through which credits earned for a bachelor’s degree at a university can also apply to an associate degree at a student’s previous community college – and obtain his rightfully earned associate degree from KCC. Snyder accepted the invitation, completed a graduation application and submitted his University of Michigan transcripts to KCC.
“Governor Snyder has been an incredible supporter of and advocate for community colleges, and we feel honored and fortunate that he is demonstrating today that an associate degree matters,” said Michael Hansen, president of the MCCA.
All 28 Michigan community colleges offer dual enrollment in both general and career-technical courses through classes on college campuses, online and in high schools. In 2012-2013, nearly 20,000 students earned credit in more than 72,000 courses, according to the MCCA. Last year, nearly 2,000 high school freshmen and sophomores participated.
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