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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

WCC Offers Classes at the University of Michigan

Beginning this fall, WCC will offer evening classes at the University of Michigan. The pilot program, which begins Aug. 27 and runs through Dec. 17, involves holding 10 classes in Mason Hall, which is adjacent to Angell Hall on State Street in the heart of U-M’s campus.

The three- and four-credit classes include composition, speech, government, psychology, sociology, accounting, and statistics. All classes will be taught by WCC instructors, and the earned credits will meet WCC degree requirements.

Holding classes at U-M is another step in WCC’s efforts to ease the crowding on main campus, where enrollment has grown close to 10 percent a year for the past three years. The College has extension sites in Dexter, Brighton, and Hartland that allow students to take classes close to their homes or workplaces. To accommodate the increased population, the College also has expanded its roster of online, evening, and weekend classes. And as enrollment keeps growing, WCC continues to explore the possibility of adding new offsite locations.

“We’re at near maximum capacity here on campus,” said WCC President Larry Whitworth. “Working with the University of Michigan, which has evening class space available, will give us a chance to keep growing, and the Mason Hall location is ideal for people who live or work in Ann Arbor.”

“Allowing WCC to use U-M classrooms in the evening when they are not being used is a perfect extension of the effort to make better use of campus facilities,” said Frances Mueller, project manager for U-M’s Space Utilization Project. “This is another way we can improve the use of campus facilities.”

The University of Michigan has more than 41,000 students and nearly 39,000 employees, who Whitworth believes might benefit from the access to community college classes.

“In addition to faculty and students, there are thousands of employees in all areas of the university who might want to supplement their education,” he said. “This gives them a chance to pick up one or more classes at a location that is very convenient.”

WCC students will find parking at nearby U-M structures, which are free for evening students. Students also can take advantage of the stores and restaurants lining State Street, only a block away.

With both U-M and WCC promoting the new arrangement, Whitworth looks forward to healthy enrollments.

“I think we’re looking at approximately 300 students,” Whitworth said. “But this is a pilot program, so we’ll see.”

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