Jackson State University and Meridian Community College are collaborating to provide MCC students, who finish their two-year degrees, with a seamless transfer to JSU.
JSU President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., and Thomas M. Huebner, Ph.D., president of MCC, signed the agreement on April 22, while surrounded by faculty and staff from both institutions. The Meridian JSU alumni chapter was also onsite for the occasion.
“It is imperative that when students complete an associate’s degree, they can easily transition to a university without any restraints. We want that university to be Jackson State, which is why we are here,” says Hudson. “Through our shared articulation agreement, students can easily further their education at JSU, elevating them to the next level of their professional and academic journey.”
MCC offers more than 40 areas of study, including healthcare-related fields and manufacturing-focused programs. JSU has over 90 areas of study, 45 undergraduate programs, 35 master’s programs, one specialist program and 13 doctoral programs. The partnership between the two institutions ensures cohesiveness in curriculums, which helps foster a harmonious transfer.
“For us, it’s not just about the educational opportunities and, you know, the partnership, but it’s about really working to bridge gaps in our community, to be able to provide opportunities for all kinds of students,” says Huebner. “And to be able to tell the world that from Meridian, you can go anywhere, be anything.”
Currently, MCC has a program where students can attend four semesters tuition-free. Those students can then apply for JSU’s Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarship, which also provides four tuition-free semesters.
“That would give them their associate’s degree and a baccalaureate degree at zero cost,” says Josiah Sampson, Ph.D., vice president of enrollment at JSU, who adds that students with associate degrees have a higher completion rate when starting a baccalaureate program.
“So this partnership can allow MCC transfer students to have no real cost to complete their education. We’re helping to change the student’s financial status because they don’t have these looming loans to pay back at either institution for either degree,” he says.
Kaymen Russell, senior biology pre-physical therapy major, transferred to JSU from MCC in 2020. Russell says she was attracted to JSU’s family-oriented environment, reminiscent of her experience at MCC. “MCC was a wonderful institution. They took me in as family right away. They grew me and helped shape me into the person I am today. So, when I graduated from there, I wanted to go to another institution that would do the same,” says Russell. “And being that my mother is also an alumna of Jackson State University, I just felt at home; it’s a wonderful atmosphere.”