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University of Michigan Dearborn - Flint. An Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Full Degree Online Programs. The 12 th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks November 8-10, 2006, Orlando, Florida. Caroline Landrum Director of Distance Learning

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university of michigan dearborn flint

University of MichiganDearborn - Flint

An Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Full Degree Online Programs

The 12th Annual Sloan-C International

Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks

November 8-10, 2006, Orlando, Florida

Caroline Landrum

Director of Distance Learning

CASL Office of Distance Learning

University of Michigan – Dearborn


Deborah White

Director of Distance Learning

Office of Extended Learning

University of Michigan - Flint

um three campuses
UM – Three Campuses
  • SE Michigan
  • Three cities, three counties
  • Three autonomous units with a single Board of Regents and president
  • Very different environments
  • Limited resources at each campus
city comparison
City Comparison


  • 66 miles NW of Detroit
  • Auto manufacturing center (GM) since 1908; home of 1936 sit down strike
  • Poster child for collapse of US auto industry, highlighted in film Roger and Me by Michael Moore.
  • Population 197,000 in 1960; 125,000 today. 41% white, 53% black.
  • Second highest national crime rate in 2004
  • Boasts numerous higher ed institutions, acclaimed Flint Institute of Music, Crim race & Buick Open (PGA Tour)


  • West Metro Detroit
  • Hometown of Henry Ford, Ford Motor Co., Ford River Rouge plant, Model T, & the Mustang
  • Known nationally for de facto racial segregation under Mayor Orville L. Hubbard for 36 years until 1978. He is widely blamed for the small number of blacks in Dearborn today.
  • Population of 98,000, 87% white, 1% black; second largest U.S. Arab pop. next to NY, home to the largest mosque in North America and the Dearborn Mosque

Ann Arbor

  • 35 miles west of Detroit
  • Traditional college town that flourished along with WWII manufacturers
  • Through 1960s & 1970s, became center for liberal politics & left-wing activism, hub for civil rights movement
  • Now, 21st-Century economy -education, technology & biotechnology
  • Population of 114,000; 75% white, 9% black
  • Popular destination city for dining & entertainment
  • Grappling with sharply rising land values, gentrification & urban sprawl
campus comparison
Campus Comparison

Ann Arbor

  • Founded in 1817 as College of Detroit, moved to AA in 1837
  • 11 undergraduate schools & colleges
  • 18 graduate schools & colleges
  • Programs
    • 200 undergraduate Programs
    • Graduate programs in 130 fields of study
  • Instructors
    • 1,378 full-time


  • Opened in 1956 as Flint College; became UMF in 1971
  • Four schools
    • College of Arts & Sciences
    • School of Education & Human Services
    • School of Health Professions & Studies
    • School of Management
  • Programs
    • 107 undergraduate & graduate
  • Instructors
    • 210 full-time


  • Opened in 1959 as Dearborn Center; became UMD in 1971
  • Four schools
    • School of Arts, Sciences &Letters
    • School of Education
    • School of Management
    • College of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Programs
    • 80 undergraduate & masters programs
  • Instructors
    • 247+ full-time
campus comparison1
Campus Comparison


  • 6,657 students
    • 5,600 undergrad
    • 957 graduate
    • 37%men, 63%women,
    • 97% MI residents
    • 18% of color
    • 1% international


  • 8,566 students
    • 6,612 undergrad
    • 1,954 graduate
    • 47%men, 53% women
    • 97% MI residents
    • 19% of color
    • 3.4% international

Ann Arbor

  • 40,025 students
    • 25,555 undergrad
    • 14,470 graduate & professional
    • 50% men, 50% women
    • 66% MI residents
    • 25% of color
    • 4% international
distance learning
Distance Learning
  • Flint
    • (Campus) Office of Extended Learning
    • Covers courses for all four schools
  • Dearborn
    • (CASL) Office of Distance Learning
    • One school
    • Campus is decentralized, each school has its own or no DL program
why collaborate goal
Why Collaborate (Goal)
  • Both schools need to grow programs quickly, limited funding for development.
  • Both have “Return to Learn” initiatives.
  • Flint – larger number of lower division undergraduate courses, fewer upper division
  • Dearborn – larger number of upper division undergraduate courses, fewer lower division
  • With collaboration, close to a full online degree
  • Dearborn – Bachelor of General Studies Degree model
return to learn
Return to Learn
  • State-sponsored (but not funded)
  • Lt. Governor John Cherry (UM-Flint MPA ’84), Cherry bi-partisan commission on higher education.
  • Goal to re-enroll as many adults as possible from 1.5 million working-age Michigan adults who have some college, but have no degree or credential.
  • Better educated work force critical to the state's ability to attract information- and technology-based industries and jobs.
dearborn bgs bachelor of general studies
Dearborn BGSBachelor of General Studies
  • Interdisciplinary, liberal arts curriculum
  • Addresses issues of relevance to the fields of management, technology, and human relations.
  • Based on academic model of UMD Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree (four-year) and “classroom based” BGS degree (two-year, building on an associate degree).
  • Courses selected from three “areas of focus” and from either online or on campus-based courses.
  • Graduation requires 120 credits, including 12-15 upper division credits in each of the chosen areas of focus.
  • November 2005 – Graduate Fair
    • Director of Academic Outreach, CASL, Dearborn
    • Director of Admissions, Flint
  • Getting Others in the Loop
    • Dearborn (November 2005)
      • Director of Distance Learning, CASL, Dearborn
      • Associate Dean, CASL, College Wide Programs oversight
      • Dean, CASL
    • Flint (December 2005)
      • Director of Distance Learning, Flint
      • Online Program Coordinator, Flint
      • Associate Provost
      • Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
first meeting
First Meeting
  • January 3rd – Flint
  • Initial Questions
      • Can we offer a “package deal” to students?
      • Is there already a joint articulation agreement? (No)
      • Would we do joint course listings?
      • How would we advertise?
      • What else has to happen?
    • Conclusions
      • No joint articulation agreement existed.
      • We should be able to make this happen.
      • Much more research needs to happen.
first meeting continued
First Meeting (continued)
  • Issues
    • Finding resources (faculty and funding) to develop remaining courses needed
    • Establishing the “home” university in terms of which university would awarded the degree
    • Writing a contractual agreement for the joint program such that students would be able to obtain financial aid
  • Internal Discussions and Follow-up
    • Flint to have a substance abuse minor online in spring, might work well with Dearborn online psychology program, as well Dearborn BGS
first meeting continued1
First Meeting (continued)
  • Dearborn – What are we doing and how in the world do we do it?
    • One of us had worked for a partnership; therefore some experience in inter-institution collaboration
    • Other of us had worked with articulation agreements; therefore some experience in inter-institution collaboration
    • Magna Publications Conference – April 19th – Inter-institutional Academic Alliances - helpful
meetings and more
Meetings and More
  • February 23rd – Second Meeting – Dearborn
    • Mostly a chance for meet and greet and setting alliances
    • Everyone Excited!
    • Internal Discussions, Issues, and Follow-up
      • Are there enough Flint lower division courses to complete Dearborn general education requirements?
      • No online science labs or foreign languages at either campus.
      • Can we do one collaborative degree program?
      • Tuition should not be a problem, costs are very similar.
      • Financial aid should not be a problem.
      • Residency should not be problem.
meetings and drafts
Meetings and Drafts
  • April 24th – Flint
    • Flint internal proposal to expand existing Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) to provide pre-approved, structured tracks offered by both Flint and Dearborn. Conceptual buy-in from all UM-Flint deans.
    • Plans are to develop five courses in each focus area over 18 months.
  • First Drafts
    • Dearborn – first internal draft in style of MagnaPubs Inter-institutional Academic Alliances model
    • Dearborn – second internal draft in style of articulation agreements
    • Flint – internal draft
  • September 19th – Dearborn
    • Shared drafts
    • Follow-up with drafts 3, 4, 5
meetings and drafts continued
Meetings and Drafts(continued)
  • October 9th – Conference Call
    • Drafts 7 and 8
  • Presentations to Vice Provost (Flint) and Dean (Dearborn)
some final decisions
Some Final Decisions
  • UMD and UMF are separate and distinct entities with the common goal of offering fully online bachelor's degrees.
  • Students will be considered Guests when accessing courses at the other institution.
  • Programs covered will include Dearborn's BA in Psychology, BGS and BLS, and Flint's BIS program.
  • Both Home and Guest student's class level status will be protected for enrollment purposes.
  • Each institution will retain its own admissions standards, policies and procedures which pertain to Home as well as Guest students.
some final decisions continued
Some Final Decisions(continued)

Each institution will:

  • Continue current practices regarding records, academic advising, and transfer of credit.
  • Consider the agreement document a “financial aid consortium agreement.”
  • Retain its own pricing structure but perhaps reduce or eliminate certain fees.
  • Jointly support (within reason) new marketing strategies - large expenditures to be agreed upon mutually.
some final decisions continued1
Some Final Decisions(continued)
  • The institutions will establish and maintain a Joint Development and Review Board.
  • Withdrawal or  dissolution of the agreement requires notification  in advance and a time period during which students in the pipeline could be reasonably accommodated.
remaining issues
Remaining Issues
  • Will focus areas be developed jointly, that is, courses included from each institution in a single focus area?
  • How will current 90-hour transfer credit cap be applied?
    • Can entire focus area (45 credits or more) be taken as Guest student?
    • Can courses from each institution be used to fulfill requirement for a focus area?
  • Can both schools waive the requirement of completing the last 30 credits on the home campus?
  • Can students complete an entire degree online, given science lab and foreign language requirements?
  • Can some fees be eliminated at either institution?
remaining issues continued
Remaining Issues(continued)
  • How will differing policies, e.g. academic probation, be juxtaposed?
  • How will courses be listed in each other’s course schedules?
  • How will seats be reserved to ensure first opportunity to interdisciplinary students?
  • How will the enrollment process work?
next steps
Next Steps
  • Dearborn (CASL) and Flint (CAS)
    • Review by disciplines, departments, and interdisciplinary programs
    • Review by CASL and CAS Curriculum Committees
    • Review and acceptance by Executive Committees
  • Both institutions – final signatures
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • How to write a formal inter-institutional agreement (one method)
  • Collaborations take time
  • Faculty and student services administrators must be involved
  • Collaborations must eventually include appropriate areas at both institutions – we have included:
    • Records and Advising/Admissions
    • Enrollment Services (equivalency point person)
    • Financial Aid
    • Faculty approval committees
Thank you for attending our session!


Caroline Landrum


Deborah White