Michigan’s community colleges want to award four-year degrees, reports the Lansing State Journal.
Northwestern Michigan College is the only school in Michigan that can count a 224-foot former Navy submarine surveillance ship among its classroom facilities.
The Traverse City community college is home to the only federally chartered maritime academy on fresh water and the only one that can’t offer its students the four-year degrees they need to sit for the U.S. Coast Guard licensing exam for commercial shipping officers.
The college’s imperfect solution is a partnership with Ferris State University that allows cadets to get a business degree but requires them to take 145 credits to finish both the nautical and financial portions of their education, rather than the 120 typical for a bachelor’s degree.
Community college leaders support a bill that would let two-year schools offer four-year degrees in five fields. However, state universities are opposing the proposed legislation.