SMC, Grand Valley Omni partner to offer Bachelor’s degree options

Published 2:29 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Grand Valley State University to offer bachelor-level classes and degree options on the Dowagiac campus. 

Starting with the Fall 2024 semester, students will be able to register for face-to-face or hybrid formats, providing more personal interaction than fully-online degrees typically offer.

Upon graduating with their associate degree, SMC students will be able to move seamlessly into select GVSU programs to continue their education while remaining in southwest Michigan. 

The first degree offered by the partnership will be a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Leadership and Business Fundamentals, designed to provide further knowledge of accounting, finance, management, marketing, and organizational dynamics while acquiring leadership and team-building skills. The BAS is a collaborative program between Grand Valley’s Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and the Seidman College of Business.

The BAS will be offered via GVSU Omni, which provides students with the flexibility of virtual learning with the structure, stability, and support of physical campuses conveniently located across the state. GVSU Omni has regional campuses in Battle Creek, Detroit,  Jackson and Traverse City. Dowagiac will be the fifth in the growing network. 

SMC President Dr. Joe Odenwald said of the agreement, “It is important to me that those who earn a technical degree be able to advance to management and entrepreneurialism, and this GVSU partnership provides just that opportunity, preserving their credits and providing a straight route to the baccalaureate degree.”  

Kara Van Dam, chief executive, Omni at Grand Valley State University, said Omni is designed to provide a personalized university-level experience while addressing the challenges faced by adults seeking to enhance their career options.

“We know that people in southwestern Michigan want to earn a Grand Valley degree, but many can’t or don’t want to leave home to do so,” said Van Dam. “GVSU Omni was created to bring a Grand Valley State University experience for talented adults like those attending SMC who want to enhance their skills and earn their bachelor’s degree while continuing to live and work in the region.”

SMC and GVSU Omni are exploring expansion of the partnership with other offerings, including a  Bachelor of Allied Health Science degree for health care graduates, giving students multiple pathways after obtaining their SMC associate degree. 

Current SMC students interested in GVSU degree options can speak with their academic advisor at any time or visit SMC alumni or community members can visit or for more information. Those interested in getting started at SMC may apply for free at