Metropolitan Community College and Cleveland University-Kansas City have signed an academic cooperation agreement that will allow MCC students to easily transfer credits toward Cleveland’s bachelor’s degree program.
The agreement, the first between the two institutions, provides for MCC graduates in three programs — associate in arts, associate in science in biology, and associate in science in chemistry — to seamlessly transfer credits toward a bachelor of science in human biology degree at Cleveland University.
Cleveland’s human biology degree provides a general medical foundation that will prepare students for graduate studies and for careers in fields such as pre-medicine, pre-chiropractic, pre-dentistry, naturopathic medicine, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, osteopathic medicine and healthcare professional.
A signing ceremony took place April 25 at the Cleveland University-Kansas City campus in Overland Park. Officials representing Metropolitan Community College were David Disney, president of the Board of Trustees; Dr. Michel Hillman, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Kathrine Swanson, vice chancellor for student success and engagement; Dr. Joe Seabrooks, president of MCC-Penn Valley; and Nancy Harrington, MCC-Penn Valley division chair for biology, math and engineering.
“This is really a landmark first step,” Hillman said at the ceremony. “This is really to recognize a partnership that will benefit students.”
He added that “the more seamless a transition” between one school and another, the more successful students will be.
Seabrooks said that during a previous visit to the Cleveland campus, he was impressed that president Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III knew “half the students by name.” And the bookstore carried a textbook with Dr. Cleveland’s name on it, Seabrooks said.
Seabrooks and others thanked the instigator of the new partnership: Carl DiCapo, a member of Cleveland’s Board of Trustees and a director emeritus for the MCC Foundation.
DiCapo is also an MCC alumnus: In 1944, he said, tuition was $16.75 a semester at Kansas City Junior College, as the institution was known then.
“I’m thrilled that we were able to do what we did,” DiCapo said of the agreement between Cleveland and MCC.
Dr. Gery Hochanadel, Cleveland University vice president of academic affairs, praised MCC’s Health Science Institute, which is part of the Penn Valley campus. It’s a model facility that other educational institutions should try to emulate, he said.
Cleveland University, known widely for its chiropractic program, plans to become a more comprehensive university targeting health and wellness. It will be looking at adding a number of master’s and Ph.D. programs over the next three to five years, Hochanadel said.
Dr. Cleveland said the school’s focus is on helping people not get sick in the first place.
He added that MCC has “special meaning for me” because he graduated in 1964 from Westport High School, just across the street from the Kansas City Junior College building.
Cleveland University, founded in 1922 with three students, now has about 450 students and offers a doctor of chiropractic degree as well as the bachelor’s in human biology, a master of science in health promotion, and an associate in arts in biological sciences.