Setting the standard for transfer friendliness, graduation planning

Innovative programs launched during pandemic earn statewide recognition

| Author: Heather Smith

Changing how a university does business is never easy — let alone during a pandemic. Despite this, Central Michigan University successfully launched two complex and innovative programs this spring to streamline the process of transferring to CMU and enable multi-semester registration.

The efforts earned CMU recognition from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

MACRAO awarded CMU its Transfer Innovation Award for simplifying how credits are granted to those with an associate degree. A new policy approved in April allows those with an associate degree in arts or science to satisfy CMU's University Program requirements.

CMU is the first public four-year institution in Michigan to accept an associate degree to meet its University Program requirements. Since April, about 200 students with associate degrees or who have completed transfer agreements have been admitted to CMU.

"This recognizes the hard work and dedication it takes to earn an associate degree," said Bob Garcia, CMU's director of transfer outreach and community college relations. "What this allows students to do is get into classes focused on their major, with the University Program requirements completed."

MACRAO also awarded CMU its Outstanding Professional Team Award to the interdepartmental team that launched multi-semester registration.

CMU opened multi-semester registration March 26 — the culmination of four years of work by a team that standardized processes across the university. While team members planned for a trial run, they did not anticipate their rollout would come when the university transitioned to remote classes and work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"CMU prides itself on a student-first approach, and with multi-semester registration, we're helping students plan their schedule to graduate on time," said Amy Faber, associate registrar.

Other benefits of multi-semester registration include:

  • Moving an antiquated paper registration exception process online, eliminating the need for students to come to campus to be added to an instructor's class.
  • Access to nearly 5,000 electronic degree plans that map courses required to complete students' degrees. It's called MAP, for My Academic Plan, and all new freshmen and transfer students have one, making it easy to register for multiple semesters.
  • Enhanced search functionality to include general education characteristics and other keywords.

The MACRAO awards will be presented to recipients at the virtual annual MACRAO Conference Nov. 18-20.

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