MCC Develops New Academic Planning Guidelines

MCC at night

Guided by the college’s strategic goal of developing new academic planning principles, Muskegon Community College faculty and staff devoted the 2019 calendar year to effectively laying the groundwork to achieve that aim.

At Faculty Seminar Days in January and continuing with “town hall meetings” in February, MCC instructors began the “Discovering our Pride and Purpose” process by gathering thoughts and stories to articulate what they do well, determining their shared values, and outlining their hopes for the future.

Next, a survey was sent in July and August to all part-time and full-time faculty with questions to determine what information MCC needs when considering adding new programs or retiring existing programs, as well as questions related to the frequency of degree review and the number of credits required for an associate degree.

The data, which was used to develop the academic planning guiding principles, indicated program content, community needs, student interest, job market, resources, transferability, number of students affected and cost are important to consider.

Survey findings were shared with academic department chairs and coordinators in September. Meanwhile, the seven-member Academic Master Plan (AMP) Steering Committee continued to meet throughout the summer and fall working on the next steps.

Strategically, the academic planning principles build upon MCC’s academic strengths through intentional, evidence-based planning, resource management, and professional development. Their goals are to strengthen teaching and learning, recognize success, and provide clearer pathways for students while committing to diversity and inclusion.

One result of the yearlong efforts has been the creation of an Associate in Science and Arts (ASA) Review Task Force that reports to the AMP Steering Committee and up to the Instructional Affairs Council (IAC), the latter having the responsibility for formulating academic policy proposed by the faculty and making all recommendations to the MCC administration.

The IAC will also be considering AMP Steering Committee recommendations to reduce the required minimum number of credits for an Associate in Science and Arts degree from 62 to 60, as well as a formal review every five years, beginning in 2020, of the ASA degree. Lastly, the committee recommended specific guidelines for departments be added to IAC forms used in consideration of adding/removing academic programs.

Members of the AMP Steering Committee are: Dan Meyers, Kevin Kyser, Kelley Conrad, Toby Moleski, Jennifer Riggs, Dan Rinsema-Sybenga and Ed Breitenbach.

The “Discovering Our Pride and Purpose” facilitators were: Nick Budimir, Yolanda Burris, Irene Church, Dan Meyers, Sylvia Hayes, Becky Evans, Charlotte Griffith, Jon Larson, Toby Moleski, Jennifer Riggs, Jason Shaughnessy, Ismael Enriquez and Kevin Kyser.

For more information on the MCC 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, visit