Archived Story

SMC adds criminal justice degree

Published 5:20pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees approved a new degree in criminal justice and accepted the 2011-2012 financial audit during the board’s regular meeting Monday on the Dowagiac campus.

The new criminal justice program offers students a two-year associate in applied science degree. The 62-credit degree will be available in fall 2013. Fall registration opens April 3.

The degree is for individuals who want a two-year degree or who plan on transferring to the four-year Ferris State University criminal justice program at SMC, which will also be offered beginning in fall 2013. Students will be able to earn their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice without leaving the SMC campus.

“First of all, we’ve listened to our students who have expressed an interest in the criminal justice curriculum,” said David Mathews, president of SMC.

“Secondly, the criminal justice degree is very flexible. Students can develop a skill set with many different career options that don’t niche them in too tightly.

“Lastly, we know that with the Ferris bachelor’s degree program is convenient and affordable for students who want the four-year degree but can’t relocate,” Mathews concluded.

The SMC criminal justice degree leads seamlessly into the Ferris degree which requires additional 35 credits to complete the bachelor’s degree.

The Ferris criminal justice degree is considered a 3+1 program with SMC, where students can take the first three years at SMC’s tuition rate with the final year under Ferris’s tuition, without leaving SMC.

In business and financial affairs, the board accepted the college’s financial audit report as prepared by Plante & Moran, PLLC, of Portage.

The college’s fiscal year ended in June.  SMC received an outstanding audit report, referred to as an unqualified audit opinion.

“An unqualified audit is the highest opinion that can be awarded by an auditing firm,” said Dr. Fred L. Mathews, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the college.

“Southwestern Michigan College has aggressively controlled costs and focused on providing a high quality total college experience at an affordable cost.

“This independent auditor’s report shows that SMC continues to be a strong, well-managed institution that gives the taxpayers a great return on their investment.”



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