Delta College is a two year community college located in Bay City, Michigan, making up one half of University Center, Michigan along with nearby Saginaw Valley State University. Established and opened for classes in 1961, it replaced Bay City Junior College who had, after almost 40 years, closed due to an inability to keep up with enrollment demands. Now, the school has a student body of over 11,000 active Delta Pioneers, maintains a local PBS television station and NPR radio affiliate (known together as Delta College Quality Public Broadcasting), and maintains its own Planetarium.
Distance learning opportunities at Delta are made possible by the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative, which makes possible taking online classes at surrounding community colleges while maintaining enrollment and receiving credits at Delta. MCCVLC requires the designation of a Home college, the school where you are looking to receive your two year degree/certification, but then allows for you to pick a Provider college, which will offer you an online class that either isn’t offered by the Home college or would conflict if taken on campus. Applying for these classes is done the same as when you are applying for on campus classes and are listed with them.
With over 50 transfer programs and 100 career degree/certifications, the MCCVLC is perfect for Delta College, who seeks to “use innovation and teamwork to achieve success”. This cooperative allows for students to pursue degrees in everything from Nursing to Chemical Processing Technology (a program Vice President Biden recently praised on his trip to the college as it helped retrain workers and created additional trained and employable workers).
Online courses are just as intensive as their on campus counterparts, requiring the same time dedication both during and outside of class. However, the perks to this approach is that idea of teamwork Delta espouses as one of its core values. This use of the surrounding schools is not only perfect for those seeking their two year certification, but also for those working towards transferring their credits to four year schools down the road. The limited time or financial demands that prevent immediate ascension to a Bachelor degree at a full four college don’t have to slow a student down. Through Delta and the Virtual Collaborative, students can begin their schooling at the college and actually receive their degree online, as they offer four year degrees from Walsh College or Lawrence Technical University and will take all transfer credits from Michigan Community Colleges.
It’s no wonder Delta is one of the members of the National League for Innovation in the Community College, as they have taken their dedication to creating “graduates who make a difference” and made sure their students are allowed access to all the education and innovation that can be provided to them. It’s why Delta is often referred to as “one of America’s leading community colleges”, as their ability to provide students with the education they are seeking goes well beyond the boundaries of the campus and helped ready last year’s 2,286 graduates (2009/10) and this year’s for the next step.