Dual degree program announced: Cooley Law School and Davenport University

By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

Students wanting both a Juris Doctor (JD) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) will now be able to do so in an accelerated period of time thanks to the agreement signed by Cooley Law School President Don LeDuc and Davenport University President Dr. Richard Pappas. The dual degree partnership program will begin in September 2012 and is offered at the Lansing campuses of both institutions.

A formal agreement signing finalizing the program was held on June 20th at the Cooley Center in Lansing. Ann Wood, J.D. Associate Dean of Planning, Programs, and Assessment of Cooley Law School welcomed the guests to the signing ceremony.

Wood told of attending another formal ceremony earlier that day where Davenport University announced a $10 million project to transform a nine-story building at the corner of Grand Avenue and Allegan Street--the former site of a Fifth Third Bank branch --into a facility that will house colleges of business, technology and health professions.

"This (Davenport) is a few steps from our Lansing campus," she said. "We are going to be neighbors in downtown Lansing. We have much in common and we are delighted we have this common foundation to build from as we move forward with this partnership. We are both private institutions with long roots in Michigan's history. Davenport was founded as Grand Rapids Business College in 1866; Cooley forty years ago."

"The two institutions have similar goals," she said. Both offer a flexible, practical education "meeting the needs of our students as well as their future employers. We have always looked at a way to provide not only just the knowledge that it takes to know what you need to do in a new profession but the skills to do that quickly, efficiently and effectively; and the ethics to do it right."

Linda Rinker, Ed. D., Executive Vice President for Academics and Provost, and Larry Polselli, Ed.D. Executive Vice President for Enrollment and Student Development from Davenport University, spoke of the collaboration as a win-win for both institutions.

Charles Cercone, J. D. Associate Dean of Faculty, Cooley Law School, echoing that sentiment, said, "we are extremely excited about this collaboration."

Presidents LeDuc and Pappas signed the documents formalizing the agreement between the two institutions.

President LeDuc, commenting on the connections between the two institutions, said, "The relationship includes something further because Dr. Pappas brother is a member of our Board of Directors and a former President of the State Bar (of Michigan)."

LeDuc saw the new offering as a benefit to the legal profession since "nearly two-thirds of lawyers are small business people, practicing solo or in firms of five or fewer lawyers. There is no better example of private enterprise than that. This is great combination of degrees to help people who want to do that."

Both institutions have long-standing partnership programs with other colleges and universities. "Working with Davenport has been a pleasure and we anticipate a seamless process and are very open to exploring innovations as the JD/MBA program grows," said LeDuc.

Pappas commented on Davenport's new building which "will be state of the art" and an asset to the city of Lansing. This new dual degree program will allow students to develop a range of skills and knowledge that will improve their effectiveness as leaders in business and the legal profession. We are proud to partner with Cooley Law School and to offer their students access to our MBA programs."

"The three fastest growing fields for jobs in the world are business, technology and health care. Combine that now with the strength of business and law and the opportunities are unlimited," he said.

Students interested in the JD/MBA program must meet the established admission criteria at each school. Cooley students may begin taking classes in Davenport's MBA program after successfully completing at least one year of Cooley courses. Davenport students may begin in Cooley's JD program after successfully completing the initial one-year of the MBA course work at Davenport University. A maximum of nine credit hours may be accepted for transfer from Cooley to Davenport and a maximum of six credit hours may be accepted for transfer from Davenport to Cooley.

Eligible students in one program will be able to incorporate course work from the other degree program; however, each student must meet the degree requirements of the respective institution before receiving each degree.

Published: Mon, Jun 25, 2012

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