Michigan State University — Goal 2 Initiative Envision Green, Phase II
Envision Green is a joint program of Michigan State University (MSU) and Lansing Community College (LCC) designed to help students start at LCC and finish their bachelor's degrees at MSU. As LCC's former President Knight said early in the planning process for Envision Green, "The leap across Michigan Avenue [the street that separates MSU and LCC] is fraught for LCC students." This is especially true for first generation and Pell-eligible students and for students who identify with minority groups. This situation is far from unique; nationwide students struggle to successfully navigate from two- to four-year institutions and the outcomes exacerbate inequality.
Envision Green addresses the roots of these challenges in order to maximize access, equity, and opportunity for mid-Michigan students and increase the number of Michigan citizens with college degrees. Creating clear and transparent processes for students to progress through the first two years of their college careers and into their junior year, makes the college experience more equitable and affordable.
Phase II of Envision Green – which we propose to meet Goal 2 of the Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunity – will further smooth the transfer process from LCC to MSU, making it more transparent for current and prospective LCC students by providing them a contract that specifies the courses they need to take and the grades they need to earn at LCC in order to be offered admittance to MSU. It will deepen MSU's commitment to students' success at LCC, and it will maximize the number of credits that students can successfully transfer from LCC to MSU. Phase II of Envision Green also generates more pathways from one institution to another by intentionally cultivating relationships between programs that students can use to help them successfully transfer from LCC to MSU, including the Army ROTC, individual academic departments, and LCC's and MSU's honors programs.
Envision Green creates a win-win-win for both LCC and MSU as well as for students. By creating equitable and transparent pathways for students from LCC to MSU, the community college is able to attract a larger number of students and those students will be more likely to complete their two-year degrees. The program provides MSU with transfer students who are better prepared to be successful. Students have greater support and a stronger likelihood of success at both LCC and MSU when they are provided the guidance and institutional navigation tools necessary for them to develop their purposes and passions.
Key Interventions and Milestones
Phase I of Envision Green had a soft launch in the spring of 2019 and an official launch in spring of 2021 with a very positive response from the community. Phase 1 is in place and functioning well. It placed MSU advisors in the LCC advising space. Now, Phase II will give those advisors a valuable new tool in helping students craft their pathways from LCC to MSU. This fall, a key milestone in this work will be the creation of the LCC-to-MSU contract for students.
A greater number of students will enroll in LCC, a greater number of students will successfully transfer from LCC to MSU, and a greater number of the students who transfer will graduate from MSU.