Archived Story

SMC adds programs and approves wages

Published 9:36pm Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) Board of Trustees reviewed three new bachelor’s degree programs that will be available this fall through Ferris State University, approved wage increases for the coming year, opened bids for parking lot resurfacing and accepted gifts and grants during its regularly scheduled meeting May 11 on the college’s Dowagiac campus.

Beginning this fall, students will have three new choices for bachelor’s degrees through Ferris State that can be obtained on the Southwestern Michigan College campuses.

With the addition of these new degrees, students at Southwestern Michigan College now have the choice of eight bachelor’s and two master’s degrees.

The new Bachelor of Science degree programs are in Technical and Professional Communication, Computer Information Technology and Human Resource Management.
These new four-year programs are in addition to the three new associate degree programs and four certificate programs at Southwestern Michigan College that were approved in February.

“With the addition of these three new baccalaureate programs, our students have many more opportunities and to continue on to pursue a four-year degree on our campuses,” said SMC President Dr. David Mathews.

“Earning a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University on the campus of SMC saves students a great deal on tuition because students can take many of their classes at SMC’s tuition cost.” SMC is also pursuing other bachelor’s degree opportunities in the sciences and in allied health fields, Mathews said.

The Bachelor of Science in Technical and Professional Communication provides students an understanding of communication media, technical and expository writing, desktop publishing, verbal communication and a chosen technical specialty. This degree prepares students for immediate employment or serves as a foundation for a number of graduate degrees.

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology focuses on systems administration and prepares students for certification in A+, Network+, Linux+, Security+ as well as Microsoft certifications.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management prepares students for careers in human resources and includes course work in employment law, compensation, negotiations and similar courses.

In other business, trustees approved the 2010-2011 faculty salary schedule and an average 3 percent increase for administrative and hourly employee salaries. According to Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Fred L. Mathews, “Southwestern Michigan College has frozen wages three separate times since Michigan’s economic downturn began.

“While these freezes were necessary, another such freeze could hinder the college’s ability to recruit and retain the very highest quality faculty and staff.

“Significant restructuring for efficiency and cost cutting have been strategically undertaken by the college. Additionally, increased tuition revenue due to record enrollment growth has combined with these cost reductions, enabling SMC to continue to invest in what is the College’s greatest asset to advance student success – its human resources.” Also at the meeting, bids were opened for the resurfacing of SMC’s Dailey Road parking lot. Bids were referred to the administration with the directive to award the contract to the lowest bidder that meets specifications of the project.

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