WCC's community involvement earns high marks from state

Published on Oct 21, 2014 5:18pm

Washtenaw Community College’s impact extends beyond its 16,000 students. The college provides professional training for dozens of Southeast Michigan businesses, partners with K-12 schools and secondary institutions and offers hundreds of popular community enrichment classes each year.

WCC’s community involvement has been noticed by the State of Michigan—in fact, that’s one reason why it has received the largest percentage increase in state funding among all 28 community colleges for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The State of Michigan measures community college performance in several areas and ties that to a portion of its state allocated dollars. First, it considers weighted completions, which is a tally of how many students have completed degrees or certificates or have successfully transferred to a four-year college or university. Weighted completions are an important metric because a community college’s role is not only to produce job-ready workers but also to academically prepare students for further study and specialization at larger institutions.

The state also considers enrollment, administrative costs in relation to primary costs and what it calls “local strategic value,” which is a measure of the college’s impact on the local community.

Overall, WCC performs on par or better than other colleges in each category, excelling in rates of weighted completions and local strategic value.

“At WCC, we are proud to provide an accessible, affordable education to our students,” said President Dr. Rose Bellanca. “We are also proud to be tightly woven within the Ann Arbor community. It’s our role, our duty, to serve the community, and we are honored to do so.”

According to a 2013 report by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., WCC’s economic impact on Washtenaw County was nearly $380 million. That represented 2.1 percent of the total regional economy and 7,100 average wage jobs.

“The way I think about it, WCC is part of a big Ann Arbor family. Family members support one another, help each other learn and grow, weather the tough times together and celebrate achievements,” Dr. Bellanca said. “We’re thrilled that the state recognizes the importance of those relationships.”

WCC provides customized training for*:

  • University of Michigan (various departments)
  • VA of Ann Arbor
  • US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons (Milan Prison)
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
  • Comcast
  • Michigan Oral Surgeons
  • Washtenaw County Public Health
  • Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Training
  • Clean Energy Coalition
  • The Lenawee Intermediate School District Technical Center
  • Chelsea Milling
  • Bosal North America
  • Protomatic
  • Raymond James

WCC’s educational partnerships*:

  • WCC provides the charter for Washtenaw Technical Middle College, named a Top Ten High School in the US by Newsweek in 2014
  • WCC offers dual enrollment with local high schools; dual enrollees increased 48 percent between Fall 2012 and Fall 2013
  • WCC offers its Certified Nursing Assistant program in the tech wing at Ypsilanti Community High School to high school and other students
  • WCC has 112 signed agreements for 272 WCC programs to articulate with multiple colleges and universities, allowing smooth transfer opportunities

WCC’s Community Services*:

  • WCC’s Community Enrichment department offers 200+ continuing education courses each semester covering leisure, wellness and more
  • Enrichment courses are available tuition-free to emeritus students (those age 65 and over)
  • WCC provides educational programming and training for youths, adults and seniors at the Parkridge Center in Ypsilanti
  • WCC offers Free College Day every spring and fall, during which community members can attend free lectures and other special events led by college faculty
  • The WCC Health and Fitness Center has 5,000 community members who have access to over 100 different health and fitness courses each week

Take the
Next Step