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March 24, 2021

MSU and LCC form partnership to improve access to higher education, strengthen transfer process

Michigan State University and Lansing Community College have formalized a partnership that improves access to a four-year degree, increases student success and helps build a pipeline of talent to meet the needs of the Mid-Michigan economy.

The partnership, called Envision Green, also provides a seamless transition from LCC to MSU by embedding MSU advisors within LCC to guide students through their educational journey — a transition more than 5,500 LCC students have made over the last decade. With this partnership in place, prospective LCC students can consider MSU from the start of their higher education journey. The affordability of the LCC-to-MSU path means a four-year-degree is an option for more people in the region — crucial for building and retaining an educated workforce in Michigan.

“This partnership provides an open, clear path for the journey from LCC to MSU that many students take each year,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “LCC is one of the top-rated community colleges in the nation, and they happen to be our neighbor. We are proud to collaborate with their team on promoting college access, affordability and student success in the region.”

It is estimated that community colleges are the entry point for close to half of America’s post-secondary students, making this partnership a win-win for students, the institutions and the local community. 

The Envision Green memorandum of understanding specifies a one-year partnership with an option for renewal, and states both parties’ intention to continue to grow the relationship. Broadly speaking, both institutions want to make it easier to plan an academic path from one institution to the other.

“To say we are excited about Envision Green is an understatement,” said LCC President Steve Robinson. “This agreement will make the transition for our students seamless as they continue their studies and complete their academic goals nearby. Greatly expanding our partnership with MSU allows us to continue to provide our students with the high-quality educational and life experiences they deserve.”

As part of the relationship outlined in the MOU, the institutions will:

  • Provide two MSU academic advisors one day a week on LCC’s Downtown Campus
  • Communicate MSU transfer credit changes and MSU transfer credit process changes to MSU advisors at LCC as well as LCC employees
  • Work individually with LCC students to facilitate a smooth transition from LCC to MSU
  • Promote policies that will encourage students who start at LCC to finish their associate degrees before transferring to MSU

“We look forward to strengthening this valued educational partnership for the region,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff. “Providing MSU academic advisors on LCC’s Downtown Campus and educating staff from both institutions on transfer policy best practices will enable a streamlined experience for LCC students considering the next chapter of their education.”

“Envision Green is a natural fit,” said LCC Provost Sally Welch. “This transfer partnership will provide expanded opportunities for our students to benefit from the expert faculty, staff and learning environment at both LCC and MSU.”

Sarah Day, a junior studying special education at MSU who transferred from LCC, thinks the program will have a lasting impact on students looking to follow the same path she did. "When I heard about this program, I could not help but think of the amazing community it will bring to MSU," said Day. "Every student dreaming of becoming a Spartan should have the same opportunities no matter which path they decide to take. With this partnership, transfer students will come into MSU feeling prepared and ready to be a Spartan."

The partnership’s benefits extend beyond campus, as well. In an era when post-secondary credentials are in increasing demand, broader access to higher education ensures the Mid-Michigan region is an attractive prospect for startups and businesses looking to expand.

“MSU and LCC are making a postsecondary education an achievable reality for more students in the region,” said Michele Strasz, executive director of the Capital Area College Access Network. “We think this initiative is especially exciting for its ability to impact students who are low-income, first generation, or people of color. New opportunities and paths for students in our community mean a better, more qualified Michigan workforce.”

For more information on creating a smooth pathway from LCC to MSU, visit

Listen to an episode of the MSU Today podcast about this new formalized partnership.

By: Kelly Mazurkiewicz and Dan Olsen

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