Jackson State University Partners with Washtenaw Community College to Create New Pathway to Higher Education


Jackson State University has joined forces with Washtenaw Community College (WCC) creating a pathway to success for students transferring their associate degrees. Announced ahead of National Transfer Student Week (Oct. 18-22), today’s news marks the first comprehensive agreement – with benefits such as guaranteed admission and access to in-state tuition – between a Michigan two-year school and the HBCU community. Additional HBCU’s participating in the program include Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and Southern University-New Orleans (SUNO)

The Washtenaw Community College HBCU Pathway program creates opportunities for student success and transfer equity among low-income students and students of color by providing a clear, direct and affordable pathway for community college students to attend HBCUs.

“Our new partnership with Washtenaw Community College will ensure that deserving students have a solid pathway to continue their education in a caring, encouraging environment that will enhance their skills in their chosen fields of interest,” said President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D. “I look forward to watching these students matriculate to obtain their bachelor’s degrees and beyond.

Located in Jackson, Miss., JSU was originally founded in 1877 as a seminary and today has grown into a comprehensive urban research university offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including at the doctorate level.

Representatives from JSU, MVSU and SUNO will discuss the partnership and information about transferring to their schools during a panel session hosted by WCC next week during National Transfer Student Week. Current and prospective WCC students and families, as well as members of the community, are invited to register to attend the virtual session from 6-7:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, Oct. 20.

“Creating a pipeline for student success is essential to our mission, and it starts with access, nurturing students with big dreams and helping them realize the opportunities to further their education. Our new HBCU pathway is designed to support students all the way from high school through community college and then through completion of their bachelor’s degree,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. “We are excited to announce our first HBCU partnerships with Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and Southern University in New Orleans.”

The three HBCUs rich in history with an extensive offering of undergraduate and graduate programs, including those in STEM.

The new partnership guarantees admission to JSU, MVSU and SUNO for WCC students who successfully complete requirements. The program ensures credits and degrees will seamlessly transfer and, importantly, creates a pathway and nurturing environment to assure success after the student has enrolled in their new university home.

One of the benefits of the new HBCU transfer pipeline is that it offers an attractive return on investment for college students and families. With a $2,280 average annual full-time in-district tuition, WCC already provides an affordable start to a college education. The new program now opens access to in-state tuition scholarships and waives application fees for WCC grads at HBCU partner institutions in other states.

WCC’s new initiative also provides student support and mentoring from WCC staff, faculty and HBCU alumni, arranges HBCU college tours and creates community-building activities, monthly career workshops and a student leadership summit.


“This is the perfect opportunity for me. Having the close-knit community and support services that both WCC and HBCUs offer for biology majors like myself is very important. I’m excited because I know HBCUs provide such a phenomenal impact on STEM students,” said WCC’s Alexia Easley, of Ypsilanti who graduated from Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School in 2020.

WCC’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion led development of the alliance to provide additional pathways to success for the college’s diverse student population and is planning high school outreach events to highlight the new HBCU agreements as well as programming and support for WCC students planning to transfer to an HBCU Partner. For more information, please visit www.wccnet.edu or email diversity@wccnet.edu.

About Jackson State University

Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, healthcare, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in metropolitan Jackson, Jackson State is located near downtown, with five satellite locations throughout the area. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu or call 601-979-2121.

About Washtenaw Community College

Washtenaw Community College (WCC), Ann Arbor, Mich., educates – students through a wide range of associate and certificate programs in areas such as health care, business, STEM and advanced transportation and mobility. WCC offers accelerated and online programs and is ranked the number one community college in Michigan, according to schools.com. WCC is committed to student success, with nearly 70% of students intending to transfer to complete a bachelor degree. The college also works through community, business and union partnerships to develop highly specialized training programs to meet the region’s workforce talent needs.


For more information about Washtenaw Community College, visit www.wccnet.edu.