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More than 100 students have come to CMU through a partnership with Jilin University Lambton College in China.

A degree that’s worth the trip

Rising numbers of Chinese students are pursuing a master’s degree at CMU

Contact: Ari Harris

​More than 100 Chinese students from Jilin University Lambton College in Changchun City, China, have earned a Master of Science in Information Systems degree from Central Michigan University. Now, under an expanded partnership between the two schools, hundreds more will have the chance to come to Mount Pleasant for their education.

In the original joint degree program, Chinese students were able to take the first few classes in the degree program at their home university in China and then complete the remaining two-thirds of course requirements at CMU.

Recruiting international students to CMU is part of a campuswide strategic plan to better prepare students to live and work in a multicultural and connected world.  These international students come to CMU from many countries and have diverse backgrounds, languages and experiences to share.

Earlier this year, Ke Tian, president of Jilin University Lambton College, met with CMU President George E. Ross; Provost Michael Gealt; and Charles Crespy, dean of the CMU College of Business Administration, to extend the program to include the MBA degree.

Alice Tian is a 2018 CMU graduate who added SAP concentration to her degree track.

SAP is an industry leader in enterprise resource planning software that integrates an organization’s accounting, purchasing, production, human resources and other business functions. CMU and other universities use SAP to teach business processes.

The daughter of JULC’s president, Alice knew she had an interest in business information systems and thought it would be interesting to travel with her peers from the college.

“We are very eager to learn and experience life in the United States. For many of us, attending CMU is our first time abroad,” she said.

Life on an American university campus was very different for many of her JULC classmates. They tried to absorb campus culture by attending university events, joining student organizations, going to plays and participating in some of the college’s competitive events, including ERPsim, CMU’s SAP-based mock-business competition in enterprise resource planning.

The ERPsim was a great experience. Two of the top three winning groups had our JULC students on the teams,” she said. “It really helped me become not only familiar with but also confident using the SAP system. As many ERP systems operate in the same fashion, I believe that the skills I have learned will also translate into my career.” 

Tian recently received an offer from PwC Chicago and begins her new career in risk assessment in the enterprise solutions group. She said her time at CMU was definitely time well-spent.

“There was tremendous value in the material I learned here. In addition, professors here are extremely passionate about their subjects and were always more than happy to help students,” Tian said.

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