The Marshall University College of Health Professions and Mountwest Community & Technical College have joined together to provide collaborative programs that will allow students to earn an Associate of Science degree at Mountwest and then transfer to Marshall for a bachelor’s degree.
Dr. Carol Perry, dean of the Liberal Arts & Transfer Division at Mountwest, said for many students, higher education is an intimidating undertaking. Perry said collaborative programs such as these help ease the transition of transfer students by providing a clear pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree.
“By starting at a community and technical college, students can enjoy smaller class sizes, adjust to postsecondary education and build their self-confidence,” Perry said. “Students also can earn a credential that will provide them with something to build upon as they continue their academic endeavors to obtain a baccalaureate degree.”
Perry said the program also will allow students to take on less debt while starting their academic career, which is an important factor to consider when pursuing higher education.
Dr. Michael Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said this partnership will provide a mutually beneficial relationship for both institutions and their students.
“We are seeing a reduction in high school graduates in the state. An increase in the transfer student population will help to combat this and hopefully work toward improving the overall economic development within our community,” Prewitt said. “Because our students will be able to make a seamless transition from a two-year to a four-year program, we can help them succeed while improving overall retention and graduation rates.”
Collaborative programs will be offered in the fields of athletic training, biomechanics, communication disorders, dietetics, exercise science, health sciences, medical imaging, medical lab technology, nursing, public health, respiratory care, social work and sport management/marketing.
“This is a forward-looking opportunity to redesign and rethink the collaboration between the community colleges and the senior institutions by providing students open pathways to pursue a wide array of degree opportunities,” said Dr. David Pittenger, Marshall’s interim associate vice president for outreach and continuing studies and dean of the graduate college. “It gives the students flexibility in terms of their long-term planning. This is a model that Marshall University is eager to pursue with the community colleges in the region so that we can better address our responsibility to provide accessibility to high quality education to all West Virginia students.”