Institutional Agreements Process (for development and approval of articulation, consortia, MOUs collaboration agreements and other pathways to Grand Valley State University)

Academic and Student Affairs Process and Procedures

Effective date:  2017


Agreements between institutions that define the curriculum, the awarding of transfer credit, the sharing of student cohorts, combined degrees, middle college structures, dual enrollment and other programmatic agreements being developed to benefit students in specific programs are overseen by the university and developed in collaboration. The Vice President for Enrollment Development creates and maintains all overarching agreements with outside institutions. 

Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements are mutual promises of cooperation for particular programmatic purposes to provide program access at whatever location through a pattern of normal transferability of students from one institution to another, without dual enrollment status that is formally recognized or requires any special treatment. 

All articulation agreements need to be approved by the Dean of the relevant academic college prior to any discussions with an outside institution. Prior to being sent to the collaborating institution, all agreements must be approved by the Academic Dean, the Provost or approved designee, and the Vice President for Enrollment Development. All departmental articulation agreements must conform to existing agreements. In the instance where an overarching agreement does not yet exist, the Vice President for Enrollment Development will create one if it is determined that it is an appropriate collaboration. The Vice President for Enrollment will then conclude the agreement process.

Consortium, collaboration agreements, and MOUs

Consortium, collaboration agreements, and MOUs involve programmatic arrangements that anticipate either dual or intermittent enrollments; provision of academic programming; anticipate the availability of financial aid; require actions by support offices that are individually tailored to the needs of the program and require unique processing; involve tuition and fee charges that differ according to the source of particular courses in the program; or require understandings based on potential differences in academic policies. All such types require validation by the signature of the Provost or approved designee. All consortium agreements must receive approval from the Higher Learning Commission before inception of the program. All institutional agreements should clearly determine: 

  • Which institution is considered the “host” and which is considered the “home” school. In all instances, GVSU should only be considered as “home” institution for students admitted to a GVSU degree program. 
  • Define the status of enrolling students from the participating institution(s) i.e. guest/nondegree status.
  • The specific academic/learning reasons for creating this agreement along with a statement of how this will advance student learning and in what ways.
  • The nature of the services to be performed by each party and why. 
  • The period of the agreement. 
  • Any statements regarding tuition and/or fee payment schedules and deadlines are required to have prior approval from the Vice President of Enrollment Development.
  • Any monetary costs or concessions must be identified, and approval from the Provost’s Office is required.
  • The conditions under which the contract can be reviewed, renewed, and/or terminated including appropriate protection for enrolled students in such situations. 
  • The venue for addressing perceived breaches of the agreement. 

The agreement should clearly define: 

  • Educational courses, program(s), and services included in the agreement. 
  • Which institution(s) is awarding the credit. 
  • How the faculties will periodically review the courses and programs. 
  • How student support services necessary to the courses/program(s) will be delivered. 
  • How student access to the learning resources requisite for the course/program(s) will be assured. 

Consortium agreements and Memos of Understanding (MOU) require a written document for financial aid and registration purposes that must explicitly state: 

  • Which school is responsible for dispersing financial aid and monitoring student eligibility for aid, home institution 
  • Financial arrangements that set forth a mechanism to account for the services provided by each of the parties, and payment arrangements for the students. 
  • Financial arrangements that meet all legal requirements for federal and state student aid programs.
  • The Vice President for Enrollment Development and the Provost or approved designee must approve these statements prior to the signing of the document.