Kalamazoo, MI
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Student Life

K Students Find “Big School” Experience at Western

Kalamazoo College features small class sizes and a uniquely small community: about 1,500 students take classes here. Western Michigan University, whose campus borders Kalamazoo College, enrolled over 24,000 students in Fall 2015, and their large size allows academic and extracurricular diversity. Though opportunities are certainly available at K, students are able to engage in experiences on Western’s campus as well. Some students at K, however, have found ways of involving themselves on both campuses.

The registrar’s office permits K students to enroll in classes at both WMU and KVCC. Instructions detail the process to be relatively simple, involving filling out a guest application, as well as a few additional forms. In terms of credit transfer, it’s laid out to be as simple as sending your official WMU or KVCC transcript to K, according to information from the Registrar.

The simplicity proved true for Michelle Sugimoto K’16, who enrolled in engineering courses during the fall. Though having to commute from Grand Rapids during the four extra weeks of class at WMU, she found the process relatively simple.

“I think the hardest part is signing up at the other institution, just because you don’t know the process, or which office to go to,” she advised.

Others, like Jess Fales K’18, found frustration with the credit transfer. In Fales’ case, living in Kalamazoo allowed dual enrollment during high school. The credits she received transferred as music electives instead of the English classes they were.

Other students have found athletic means of involvement on Western’s campus. For Haley Wentz K’18, ice skating since the age of three made the decision to join the WMU’s figure skating team an easy one. Unlike those taking courses at Western, Wentz did not have to go through the registrar or even get permission from K.

“While K didn’t necessarily do anything to facilitate my being on the team, they have made it worthwhile and have done nothing but encourage my achievements.” Though the time commitment and practice times can be difficult, Wentz has found the K community, including her professors, to be incredibly supportive.

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K Students Find “Big School” Experience at Western