HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It is being called a "historic partnership" between William Carey University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. On Tuesday, both schools signed an agreement that will make it easier for many students to pursue their higher education dreams.
With several strokes of a pen, the presidents of William Carey University and MGCCC made history.
"Today is a momentous occasion not only for MGCCC, but William Carey University," said Dr. Mary Graham, MGCCC President.
"William Carey is all about partnerships and friends, and we thank all of you friends of both institutions and the partnership that will be sealed here today," said Dr. Tommy King, William Carey President and CEO.
That partnership will affect students majoring in nursing and criminal justice at MGCCC. For criminal justice students, once they receive their associate's degree at Gulf Coast and they decide to continue their education at William Carey, up to 64 credit hours will transfer with them.
"At MGCCC, we have 276 criminal justice majors. That is a great opportunity for universities along the Gulf Coast and in our area to have these students transfer over," said Dr. Karla Pope, MGCCC Criminal Justice Instructor.
"We discovered that MGCCC has a very large associate's degree Criminal Justice program, so it only made sense to work with them to allow their students to transition into a full bachelor's degree program," said King.
For nursing students, a maximum of 60-nursing and general course credits at Gulf Coast will be accepted at William Carey.
"They can be finished in a year, where previously it would have taken them two years or maybe even a little longer," said Dr. Janet Williams, William Carey University Nursing School Dean.
College leaders said the Articulation Agreement will make provide students a seamless transition, make college more affordable, and help them on the path to completing their degrees.
"We're excited about the future. We're excited about the educational opportunities on the coast. That's what it's all about, higher education and going to work," said Graham.
Since William Carey's Hattiesburg campus does not offer a criminal justice program, the criminal justice credits at MGCCC will only apply at the Tradition campus in Harrison County.