AGREEMENT EASES WAY FOR WVU DEGREE
[Beckley, W. Va.] An agreement signed recently by West Virginia University President Jim Clement and West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) Chancellor Jim Skidmore will allow students who begin their studies at New River Community and Technical College to finish their bachelor's degrees online through WVU.
The Baccalaureate Pathway Agreement, which becomes effective March 1, advances the state goal for improving college degree completion by increasing access to college courses. The agreement establishes an articulation between WVCTCS and WVU for students at the state's 10 community and technical colleges who wish to pursue an online bachelor's degree in Multidisciplinary Studies or a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.
Community college transfers are not new, but what is unique about this "B.A. Pathway" initiative is that it allows students, particularly adults, the option of staying in their communities and finishing their degree online. Students can transfer up to 72 credits to WVU and design their own multidisciplinary studies degree by choosing three minors instead of one major. A capstone course unites the minors with a culminating project.
WVU piloted the B.A. Pathways program last year with selected community colleges, including New River.
"We are pleased that West Virginia University has reached out to our graduates at New River to allow them to complete this unique baccalaureate degree option online. The dream of students to complete a four-year degree without leaving home is a reality and will increase the number of citizens in the state who will complete a baccalaureate degree," said Dr. Harry R. Faulk, executive vice president and chief academic officer at New River.
Under the agreement, New River students with an overall 2.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher will be accepted into WVU's online Multidisciplinary Studies program. Students with an overall GPA between 1.7 and 2.0 maybe be admitted on a provisional basis. Students out of high school for four or more years may choose the online RBA degree.
Through WVU Extended Learning, 15 online minors have been packaged into multiple career-oriented tracks. These include business applications, liberal arts, promotion and publicity and sports studies. For example, a student interested in business could choose minors in business administration, entrepreneurship and public relations. Some students who have more than one associate's degree and years of professional experience may also opt for the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.
The minors that can be combined in the pathway include advertising, business administration, child development, communication studies, entrepreneurship, family and youth, fashion merchandising, health promotion, history, infant and toddler, professional writing and editing, public relations, religious studies, sport communication, and sport and exercise psychology.
"The Multidisciplinary Studies degree allows a student to select minors that reflect their interests as well as the economic opportunities in their community," said Sue Day-Perroots, dean of WVU Extended Learning. "Life and work continue as they pursue their degree online."
Students interested in pursuing the B.A. Pathways program through New River should contact Peggy Epling, director of the Center for Advanced Studies, at (304) 929-4749.