Students focused on business careers in advertising, marking, health services management, accounting, finance, human resource management and even general business pathways now have an enhanced education opportunity thanks to a partnership developed by Southwestern Michigan College with Indiana University South Bend. That opportunity now includes completing a four-year business degree while staying in the area.
In September 2017, IUSB and SMC unveiled an agreement to help nursing students chart a smooth route from an associate-level Registered Nurse to a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
Now, business students can complete the first two years at SMC’s low tuition, gain an associate degree and then transfer all classes to IUSB in a seamless fashion.
Dr. Stacy Young is Dean of the SMC Schools of Business and Advanced Technology. She says, “It gives our students more choices,” adding, “You come here and take what I call the IUSB-approved ‘business core’ and then transfer into any of these different programs.”
Young says, “We help students get off on the right foot establishing themselves in college.” She adds, “We do a really good job helping students transition from high school to college. That’s one of SMC’s strengths because we’re smaller. Our Dowagiac campus has the look and feel of a private school, but at public college prices. You get settled in a welcoming environment to understand what college is like before you move to the university.”
Dr. David Fleming is SMC's Vice President of Instruction. He admits, “There has been some perception that college credits from Michigan for some reason don’t transfer across state lines, and vice versa, which is not the case.” Fleming adds, “These arrangements are perfect for someone who wants to stay in the greater South Bend area and complete a business degree right here.”
Pathways particularly appeal to Young because her own 16-year-old daughter is interested in attending SMC. She says, “I’d probably encourage her to take one of the IUSB pathways,” and adds, "Then she’d have all those options open to her at the end. Being able to transfer in seven different directions is pretty nice. It would be perfect for her because she knows she wants a career in business, but she’s not quite sure what yet. This keeps all of her options open for two years while she explores and decides.”
The two institutions are less than 30 miles apart and an easy drive from anywhere in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana. Student housing is available at both colleges. Those interested in the IUSB pathways can contact SMC Admissions at 269-783-2135, by way of e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting to 269-464-5999.