TRAVERSE CITY — Students seeking degrees in engineering now can earn more credits at Northwestern Michigan College before transferring to Michigan Technological University to earn their undergraduate degree.

The new Associate of Science in Engineering will let students transfer 73 credits from NMC to MTU.

Students can currently transfer 60 credits under the NMC’s transfer degree, the Associate in Science and Arts. But any credits taken beyond that 60 credits are not covered by federal financial aid, something the new degree will allow.

The college also is working on similar articulation agreements with about six other universities, said Stephen Siciliano, vice president for educational services at NMC.

There are about 70 students in pre-engineering at NMC, Siciliano said.

NMC’s engineering degree will require students to take 48 credits of general education courses — composition and a humanities and social sciences course — as well as the science and math courses required for all pre-engineering transfer programs, such as chemistry, calculus and physics.

Students also will take 25 directed electives determined by the engineering program they have chosen and the university to which they are transferring. Courses could include anatomy and physiology, thermodynamics or physical geology.

Taking the directed electives will assure that students can transfer in as juniors at most universities.

With the new articulation agreement students will be able to choose from a variety of engineering programs, whether that’s chemical engineering, mechanical engineering or computer engineering, Siciliano said.

“We feel very confident that these 73 credits will fit well for students picking any one of those pathways,” Siciliano said.

“We know this is going to help our students in the long run,” said Chris Bott, board chair.

In other business, NMC President Nick Nissley announced that the college would receive $4.1 million under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that was part of a COVID-19 package passed by Congress just before Christmas.

Of that, $3 million will go to the college and about $1 million will go directly to students, Nissley said.

Rules of distribution under the first round of funding from the federal CARES Act in mid-2020 were strict, he said. Under this funding the rules will likely be similar, though they may be a little looser, he said.

“We need to be sure we are adhering to the rules and doing it by the books,” Nissley said. “We want to get the dollars distributed as soon as possible.”

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