Category 9: Building Collaborative Relationships


Isolated tasks and
activities address
immediate needs
Repeatable, proactive
processes with clear
and explicit goals
Stable, consciously
managed, regularly
Regularly improved
through analysis,
innovation and sharing

MCC excels at Building Collaborative Relationships. From articulation and collaboration with K-12 partners to cutting edge concurrent enrollment agreements with local universities, MCC has established and nurtured productive relationships that add value to the institution and MCC students. In addition, MCC continues to be a leader in local workforce and economic development initiatives, a strength identified in the previous Systems Appraisal.

With the exception of the local intermediate school district (GISD), no other area institution does more to align and coordinate the efforts of the local K-12 schools. MCC is the number one destination for graduates from all 21 area school districts and the college plays a leadership role in Tech Prep and the Greater Flint Educational Consortium (GFEC) as described in 9P1. Since 1991, MCC has hosted a Middle College high school located on campus. All of these high school students are required to take college courses on campus and a majority of them end up enrolling at MCC upon graduation.

MCC maintains paid memberships with hundreds of professional and trade organizations that add value to the institution; these relationships are described in 9P5 and 9P6. Participation in these organizations takes place at every level. Many are institutional memberships, some departmental, and numerous others are individual memberships held by faculty, administrators and staff. MCC continues to provide leadership as a member of the Regional Workforce Development Consortium, which works to strengthen workforce development efforts in the region. Other significant collaborations include initiatives through the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), including Win-Win (described in 9R3) and Credit When It's Due, among others.

A regular system of academic program review ensures that program advisory boards are engaged on a regular basis for input and evaluation of educational offerings. MCC's recent expansion of service learning opportunities has resulted in an innovative program called Service Saturdays where MCC faculty and staff participate in community volunteer work with area partners such as the Food Bank, Whaley Children's Center, the Humane Society, and the Flint River Watershed Coalition.

Building upon existing strengths in collaborative partnerships, MCC recently launched two significant concurrent enrollment programs with area universities. The first of these partnerships was with Oakland University (OU) which established partnerships with community colleges in the Metro Detroit region. After becoming part of the OU partnership, MCC replicated this concurrent enrollment program with its closest and most significant university partner, University of Michigan—Flint. Details on both of these collaborative relationships appear in 9I1. MCC also continues to partner with community groups to promote the Ballenger Lecture Series.

In summary, the processes and results for Building Collaborative Relationships establish that MCC is performing in an Aligned fashion that is stable, consciously managed and regularly evaluated.

9P1Relationships with Organizations that Supply MCC with Students.As a comprehensive community college with strong transfer and occupational programs, MCC receives students from a wide variety of sources including local K-12 school districts, other higher education institutions, as well as community groups that provide career counseling and other types of assistance.  In addition to education and service organizations that directly supply students, State and Federal programs such as Michigan Works! agencies in our service delivery area constitute an indirect source of students.

MCC takes a leadership role in providing positive relationships with K-12 schools, including a formal K-12 Partnership and Tech Prep program. To build and prioritize relationships with other educational institutions, MCC is an active participant in the Greater Flint Educational Consortium (GFEC). The MCC President sits on the GFEC Board, and a variety of MCC administrators, faculty and staff participate in its activities. The partnership's formal goals are listed in the following table:

1 Develop and implement collaborative efforts which facilitate sharing of staff and resources.
2 Foster relationships which promote and enhance education.
3 Assume the leadership role in the development of a quality/competitive workforce.
4 Pursue quality and equity of educational opportunities for all members of the K-16 community.
Figure 9-1 Greater Flint Educational Consortium (GFEC) Goals

The GFEC has a number of standing groups that work to build and maintain collaborative relationships, including the K-16 Writing Committee, the K-16 Math Committee, the Beyond High School 8th Grade Project, the Senior Year (High School) Project, and the Senior (High School) Exit Survey. More information about the GFEC is available here:

MCC has also developed strong relationships with transfer institutions through the Admissions and Registrar's office; a number of universities, which sometimes supply MCC with students, have a presence in our University Center, which is described in 9P2 below. A strong recruitment program exists that regularly places MCC employees at area recruitment fairs and events at area high schools. Since 2009, MCC has participated in extensive concurrent enrollment programs with two area universities; these programs are described in detail in 9I1.

In addition to strong partnerships with area K-12 school districts, MCC has partnered with a high school that is resident on its campus since 1991. Mott Middle/Early College High School (MMC) is a guidance-based middle college/high school serving youth in Genesee County and districts geographically adjacent to Genesee County. Open to students in all of the county's 21 public school districts, the program is designed to provide "intensive care education" to students with academic potential that are at risk of dropping out before high school graduation, are achieving well below their potential, are underprepared and/or under-represented in higher education. MMC offers a fresh start to students who desire to transfer their academic and co-curricular program to the middle college/high school. MMC accepts 9th, 10th and 11th grade students both in the Fall and Winter semesters. More information about Mott Middle College can be accessed here:

9P2Relationships with Organizations MCC Students Will Attend or Join. As a long-standing provider of freshman and sophomore level instruction, MCC has a rich history of supplying students to four-year colleges in Michigan and around the world. MCC began as a junior college in 1923. In our geographic area, the primary destination of our students is the University of Michigan—Flint. Many also attend Baker College, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, and the other state universities in Michigan. The Admissions and Registrar functions regularly work to create and build upon relationships with transfer schools.

MCC also operates a University Center, a unique partnership that allows students to earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from a major university, right on MCC's campus. The MCC University Center houses Ferris State University, Michigan State University, Rochester College, Cleary University, and the University of Michigan-Flint to provide opportunities for current students and members of the community to receive either a Bachelor's or Master's degree without having to leave Genesee County. The University Center offers junior, senior, and graduate-level credit. MCC provides the classroom space, parking, library, and computer facilities. Partner institutions provide the curriculum and faculty. Students with associate degrees may be able to transfer from 60 to 90 credits toward a baccalaureate program. New programs are being added every year to meet the needs of MCC students and the community.  More information about the University Center may be accessed here:

MCC also has strong relationships with the local employer community, as a number of our programs are designed to prepare students directly for the workforce.  A fundamental element of MCC's relationship with the employer community is the work of program advisory committees and program coordinators. The following table outlines the upcoming schedule of formal advisory committee evaluation activities through the year 2018:

Evaluation Year Programs to be Evaluated
2013-14 ADN/RN, Automotive Technology, Early Childhood Education/Child Development, Food Services Management, Marketing Management, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Practical Nursing
2014-15 Cosmetology, Forensic Science, Graphic Design, Media Arts & Entertainment Technology, Physical Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, Interpreter Training/Sign Language Interpretation, Air Conditioning/Heating/
Refrigeration, Communications Technology, Computer Occupations Technology
2015-16 Business Management, Cosmetic Services, General Business, Medical Transcription, Photographic Tech/Photography, Social Work Tech, Building & Construction Tech, Electronics & Electrical Tech
2016-17 Nail Technician, Computer Information Systems, Computer Network Administration, Mechanical Operations Technology
2017-18 Accounting, Business Office management, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Criminal Justice, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene
Figure 9-2 Program Review in Occupational Education (PROE) Evaluation Schedule

Every occupational program at MCC has a formal advisory committee comprised of volunteer members from the employer community and workforce in the area of study. Program coordinators are a direct link to the workforce that students will join upon completion of our programs, and the members of the advisory committees provide valuable input into the direction and currency of programs.   Occupational programs are part of a cycle of evaluation that engages the advisory committees in formal surveys on the currency and effectiveness of program curriculum and activities.  The Program Review in Occupation Education (PROE) process is a major component of MCC's ongoing development of relationships with the employer community.

The activities of the department of Student Employment Services are designed to create and maintain relationships with private sector partners that employ our students upon graduation. A rich system of relationships with local employers also exists in non-credit areas of MCC through the office of Workforce Development. MCC has also assumed a leadership role in the development of a consortium of Workforce Development partners. The Regional Workforce Development Consortium (RWDC), established under MCC leadership in 1998, is a ten-county consortium with the following mission and values:


The Regional Workforce Development Consortium's mission is to strengthen regional workforce development efforts and aid in closing the skills gap between business, industry and worker needs in the areas of Information Technology, Manufacturing and Health in Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola Counties.


The Regional Workforce Development Consortium envisions a regional infrastructure that fosters a collaborative system, which connects the needs of the workforce and the workplace in a regional context.

Fig 9-3 Mission/Vision for the Regional Workforce Development Consortium (RWDC)

The consortium is focused on workforce issues in the I-75 / I-69 corridor region. Funding from the Mott Foundation allowed MCC to continue development of the Regional Workforce Development Consortium and expand its membership. The consortium, established under MCC leadership in 1998, brings together education, government and business representatives from Genesee, Oakland, Shiawassee, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Livingston Counties. More information about the consortium may be accessed here :

9P3 and   9P4 Relationships with Organizations that Supply Materials and Services. MCC is continuously developing and strengthening relationships with a wide range of external vendors and organizations that provide service directly to our students. Given the transparency and public scrutiny applied to the purchasing of materials and services in higher education, MCC has a comprehensive set of policies and procedures for competitive bids, Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and other procurement processes.  Within these guidelines, MCC has a number of stable relationships with high quality vendors for office supplies, water, and facilities contractors.  MCC maintains a Manual for Purchasing Procedures which outlines the formal processes for competitive bids, RFPs, and purchasing guidelines. The Manual for Purchasing Procedures may be accessed here:

9P5 and 9P6 Relationships with External Associations, Partners, and Agencies. MCC engages in formal associations, partnerships and agencies in the form of paid memberships. These memberships can be broadly classified into regional/economic organizations, institution-wide professional organizations, and department-specific organizations. Members of the EC set the tone for these external memberships, which are evaluated and prioritized through the annual budgeting process. At the department level, most formal and informal relationships are closely related to the job functions and goals of work areas. A selection of currently-held memberships in national or international organizations is listed in the following table:

MCC is also engaged in a variety of regional professional and economic development organizations at the state, county, and municipal level. Many of these associations are state chapters of national organizations in which MCC departments and employees take active leadership roles. Enabling objectives in the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan also make participation in local and regional economic development organizations a priority. Specifically, the objectives provide for the following: "Expand our capacity to be involved and responsive to local, regional and state plans for economic growth and align our resources and assets to enhance the viability of the community [4-1-d];" and "Be an active member of local and regional economic development initiatives and organizations including the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Next Steps Committee, Genesee Global Action Team (chair), Automation Alley (foundation board member), and the Genesee/Shiawassee Education Advisory Group (co-chair) [4-2-b]." A selection of currently-held memberships in regional and economic development organizations is listed in the following table:

Birch Run Area Chamber of Commerce
Central Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
Downtown Kiwanis Club
Economic Club of Lapeer County
Educational Teleconsortium of Michigan
Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce
Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce
Friends of Michigan Libraries
Genesee Area School Business Officials
Genesee Intermediate School District
Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce
Genesee Valley Rotary Club
Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce
Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Flint Health Coalition
Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce
Howell Area Chamber of Commerce
International Teaching Learning Cooperative
Lapeer County Association of Chiefs of Police
Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies
Michigan Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Michigan Association of School Boards
Michigan Association of Student Financial Services Administrators
Michigan Campus Compact
Michigan Community College Association
Michigan Community College Collaborative for Accountability, Research & Effectiveness
Michigan Community College Student Services Association
Michigan Conference of Political Scientists
Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators
Michigan League For Nursing
Michigan Occupational Deans Administrative Council
Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association
Michigan School Vocal Music Association
Michigan Student Financial Aid Association
Mid-Eastern Michigan Library Cooperative
Midwest Collaborative for Library Services
National Notary Association
North American Council for Staff, Program & Organizational Development
Rotary Club of Flint
Sunrise Kiwanis
Swartz Creek Area Chamber of Commerce
University Risk Management and Insurance Association
Zonta Club of Owosso
Figure 9-5 2013 Regional/Economic Association, Partner, and Agency Memberships (selected)

In addition to formal memberships with external organizations, there exists a well-developed expectation that individual college leaders engage in local service. This expectation is set at the very highest levels of the organization by the President, who serves on the boards of Hurley Medical Center, one of the major hospitals in our service area, and the Flint Health Coalition; the CEO also serves as President of the Genesee Intermodal Corridor Initiative, and as a board member for Michigan Campus Compact. The Vice President for Academic Affairs serves on the Flint Health Coalition's subcommittee for employer needs, a legislative committee for the Michigan Transfer Agreement, and is President-Elect of the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA). Numerous other MCC faculty, administrators, and staff serve in appointed and elected capacity on the boards of local non-profit organizations, charities, and service clubs. A few MCC employees also hold elected office on local school boards or in municipal government.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Secondary/Postsecondary Connections. Mott Community College offers 51 active state-approved Career and Technical Education certificate and associate degree programs through the Business, Fine Arts & Social Sciences, Health, Humanities, and Technology Divisions. These programs provide students with hands-on technical training and work-based learning experiences. Mott's Automotive Technology, Cosmetology, Dental Hygiene, and Culinary/Baking and Pastry Arts/Food Services Management programs have functional service clinics that are open to the public, providing automotive, cosmetology, dental hygiene, and restaurant services to a public clientele, and providing real-life work experience to students.

Kearsley Park Partnership. Kearsley Park is a 57 acre city-owned park of rolling land with water and woodlands that connect with the Flint Cultural Center, Mott Community College (MCC), the Flint Public Library, Flint Central High School, and several neighborhoods near the park. The Kearsley Park Partnership grew out of an on-going concern to improve and enhance the park for the benefit of the community. Working with a Site Master Plan, the Kearsley Park Partnership is raising funds to complete the $4.6 million dollar project. Nearly half of the funds have been raised to date resulting in several major improvements to the grounds and the historic pavilion at the park. Major funding was provided by the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the 1st phase of the parks development. The renovation of Kearsley Park provides recreational and athletic benefits to Flint residents as well as residents of Genesee County.

9P7 Internal Relationships Among Organizational Units at MCC.Relationships between and among departments and work units at MCC are most commonly formed around the identification of shared interests related to a particular problem or service. One way in which MCC departments consciously forge internal working relationships has been through the activities of AQIP Action Project teams.  As part of the team design, all AQIP Action Project teams are cross functional with wide representation from across the organization. The resulting Academic Branch Council (ABC) fosters communication regarding changes that impact other areas.

9R1 and 9R2 Measures and Results for Internal and External Relationships. A number of internal relationships are well established and add significant value to the organization. In 2012 the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) launched a program called Service Saturdays which allow Mott faculty & staff (and in some cases their family members) to volunteer as a group each semester at several of the Flint area's many nonprofit agencies. As of Fall 2013, more than 70 Mott employees have participated in four Service Saturdays (at Flint's North End Soup Kitchen, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Whaley Children's Center, and the annual Flint River clean-up sponsored by the Flint River Watershed Coalition). Service Saturdays allow diverse Mott employees to work as a team, on a worthwhile and often fun project, and then explicitly reflect on the importance of the College's mission serving the broader community.

A number of measures exist for external relationships. As part of the budgeting process, membership dues in local, state, and national organizations are tracked at the department level. Membership, attendance, and participation in the MCC Alumni association is tracked, as are donations to the Foundation for MCC and the Bruin Club, MCC's athletic booster. MCC highlights the accomplishments of its graduates in an online feature called AlumNOTES, which may be accessed here:

9R3Benchmarking Results for Collaborative Relationships. While MCC has a significant number of productive collaborative relationships, it can be challenging to compare our results to the results of other colleges. For example, MCC is involved in a number of state-wide initiatives through the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA). While results are submitted to the group and reported in aggregate, the MCCA rarely reports specific performance results by college. One example where MCC can point to comparison data is the recent Win-Win initiative conducted with the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). Project Win-Win involves 64 community colleges and four-year institutions authorized to award associate's degrees. The institutions come from Michigan and eight other states (Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin). Coordinated through the MCCA, nine Michigan colleges engaged in the task of identifying former students, no longer enrolled anywhere and never awarded any degree, whose records qualify them for an associate's degree, and get those degrees awarded retroactively. Simultaneously, these institutions identify former students who are "academically short" of an associate's degree by no more than nine to 12 credits, find them, and seek to bring them back to complete the degree. Below are the results for the nine community colleges participating in the project:

2013 Reporting Determined Eligible Degrees Awarded (unduplicated) Determined Potential Degrees Awarded (unduplicated) Rating of Degree Audit System
Bay de Noc 75 60 287 15 5
Henry Ford 253 62 1612 16 2
Lake Michigan 66 66 202 3 5
Mott 50 50 497 20 1
North Central 105 24 318 10 5
Northwestern 122 122 443 104 2
Oakland CC 609 435 3084 63 2
Southwestern 16 1 233 1 2
St. Clair 27 27 259 8 2
  1323 847 6935 240  
Figure 9-6 2013 Win-Win Credentials Awarded Data (Source: MCCA)

On a state-wide basis, the Win-Win partnership awarded a total of 1,027 degrees that otherwise would not have been awarded. Of those, 70 were granted by MCC. The project led each college through a process of identifying two groups of students: those already "eligible" to receive a credential based on credits earned, and those "potential" students who were deemed to be fewer than 12 credits short of a degree. In addition to benchmarking these results, the degree audit systems of each participating college were ranked. The rating system for the degree audit systems is as follows: 1 = Works Very Well; 2 = Works Adequately; 3 = Works Poorly; 4 = Doesn't Work; 5 = Manual System Only. MCC's degree audit system was ranked the highest; creation of a Degree Audit system was one of MCC's first AQIP Action Projects in 2005-2006 and the system remains in consistent use.

9I1 Recent Improvements in Building Relationships.One of the most significant recent improvements in building collaborative relationships has occurred with MCC's "destination" partners in the form of concurrent enrollment agreements which are detailed below:

Mott2UM-Flint.  The University of Michigan—Flint (UM-Flint) is the single largest receiver of MCC students. With a single admission application, students can take advantage of the resources and course selection at the University of Michigan-Flint and Mott Community College. The Mott2UM-Flint concurrent enrollment program offers you the opportunity to take courses at both institutions at the same time, meaning tuition savings and maximum flexibility on the path to a Michigan bachelor's degree. Students interested in Mott2UM-Flint are strongly encouraged to attend an information session.

The Mott2UM-Flint partnership has many benefits to students. Concurrent enrollment allows for simultaneous admission to both institutions through one online application.  The partnership provides coordinated advising, where UM-Flint and Mott work together to keep students on track to reach their educational goals and allows students to take courses at one or both institutions at the same time. Students are able to receive financial aid for courses at both UM-Flint and Mott. Additional partnership benefits include expanded course selection, access to student activities and resources on both campuses, including UM-Flint's Recreation Center, and the option to complete an Associate's degree while working toward a Bachelor's degree.  Specific information about the partnership, including application materials and program eligibility, may be found here:

Mott2O. MCC has also partnered with Oakland University, which is located approximately one hour south of Flint. Through Oakland University's Community College Partnership Program, students can concurrently enroll at OU and MCC. OU partners with a number of community colleges and was a leader in this type of collaboration, which began at nearby Macomb Community College. These partnerships allow for joint admission and concurrent enrollment with the goal of creating a seamless higher education option. At present, the OU program includes the following partners: Macomb Community College (M2O); Mott Community College (Mott2O); Oakland Community College (O2O); St. Clair County Community College (SC2O). MCC's collaboration with UM-Flint was inspired by and partially modeled after the OU concurrent enrollment partnerships. Benefits to students include: joint admission through one, free application; concurrent enrollment at the university and community college, offering the flexibility to take courses at one or both institutions at the same time; coordinated financial aid at both institutions by combining credit when students are concurrently enrolled; expanded course selection; timely completion of associate and bachelor's degrees; access to the on-campus resources of both institutions, including housing at Oakland University. More information about the Oakland University partnership may be found here:

9I2 Improvement Efforts for Building Collaborative Relationships. MCC's culture fosters collaborative relationships through a long-standing reputation for responsiveness to external entities that are close to the college, including governmental and community organizations. This has led to the college being a host to regional events, including political rallies and meetings for government officials and candidates. In June of 2013, for example, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow joined students and local businesses at MCC to unveil a major initiative to help train workers for new high-skilled jobs. The New Skills for New Jobs Act builds on successful efforts in Michigan and several other states that are helping community colleges partner with local businesses to provide training to workers for new high-skilled jobs. The event featured local employers and several MCC students involved in workforce development and retraining initiatives.

MCC has also partnered with other community organizations and the Foundation for Mott Community College (FMCC) to host lectures by prominent speakers such as Bill Cosby, Spike Lee, and Lech Walesa. As part of the Ballenger Chair eminent persons lecture series, past events have included topics such as women in science, stem cell research, nanotechnology, and other emergent topics in scientific and cultural life. In 2010 the focus of the series was on Arts and Entertainment; in 2012 the focus was on entrepreneurship. Recent speakers have included Daymond John (2012), star of ABC's Shark Tank; Patti Smith (2011), poet and punk rock legend; Tony Shalhoub (2011), Emmy Award-winning star of "Monk;" Ernie Gilbert (2010), Emmy Award-winning illustrator and character designer for Nickelodeon.