April 29, 2013
In October 2011, Baylor President Ken Starr and McLennan Community College President Johnette McKown signed a memorandum of understanding for a three-year pilot program called Baylor@MCC to begin fall 2012. Through Baylor@MCC 45 students in Baylor's fall 2012 entering class were provided a rich educational experience that drew from faculty expertise and experience on both the MCC and Baylor campuses. The program required that students first qualified for regular admission to Baylor, but due to space constraints, were offered the option to join Baylor@MCC and co-enroll at both Baylor and MCC in a distinct Baylor-bound program. Students enjoyed the benefits of being a Baylor student while taking most of their classes at MCC.
Now entering its second pilot year, the program will undergo some changes based on the experiences of students in the 2012 class. BaylorNews asked Diana Ramey, associate vice president for enrollment management and Baylor's liaison to the program, to describe changes to Baylor@MCC for fall 2013 students.
Q: How has the Baylor@MCC partnership benefited both the students and the University?
The Baylor@MCC program was created to make the Baylor experience available to some students who qualify for regular admission to Baylor, but cannot be accepted due to space constraints in freshman classes.
A major benefit for Baylor is that we are able to hold onto some excellent students who can transfer to Baylor as full-time students after the freshman year. Baylor@MCC students benefit by having the opportunity to experience college life and live on campus as Baylor Bears while taking most of their classes at McLennan Community College.
They also benefit from being able to attend classes on two beautiful campuses with outstanding facilities, as well as take advantage of academic support services and getting to know faculty, staff and students on both campuses.
Q:What changes will the program experience in its second year of operation?
As a pilot program, we have the opportunity to tweak the program as we learn more about what works well and what does not. Several changes have been made for next year based on input from the students who enrolled in the program last fall.
A couple of these changes include being invited to participate in orientation during the month of June and having the ability to select housing preferences once they deposit.
We have also tweaked the program based on our implementation experience. For example, in an effort to provide a more seamless transfer to Baylor and improve time to degree, we will be limiting acceptances based on the number of transfer credits students have accumulated by the end of high school and by specific majors students can pursue in the program.
Q: For what type of student is this program best suited?
All students in the program meet regular admission requirements so they are academically well-suited for the program. These students decide to join the program because they want to earn a Baylor degree. However, the more transfer credits a student has at the time of high school graduation, the more difficult it is to find enough of the right courses for two semesters of full-time enrollment and stay on track to a four-year Baylor degree. Thus, students best suited for this program will have 18 or fewer transfer credit hours and plan to pursue BBA, BS, or most BA majors.
Participants co-enroll at Baylor part-time as non-degree seeking students and at McLennan Community College as full-time freshmen. Being non-degree seeking is only a temporary status for them at Baylor while they are enrolled at MCC - they will become degree-seeking when they become full-time students at Baylor. In the meantime, they are being advised and placed into classes that meet the requirements of their anticipated degree plans.
Baylor@MCC students are active members of the Baylor community. As Baylor students, they have access to all the services and facilities and participate in a wide array of student activities, student clubs, intramurals, club teams and most organizations. These students are not, however, eligible to join social fraternities and sororities or any other organization requiring a new member education or pledge program until they become full-time Baylor students and have met stated requirements.
Q: Are there opportunities for future growth/expansion of the program? If so, what types of changes might you envision?
The Baylor@MCC program size will be determined annually based on demand for space in the freshman class. However, the overall enrollment partnership with MCC will continue to grow even beyond the Baylor@MCC program. Talks are already underway about other types of collaborations.