(Ridgeland, MS) – Jackson State University signed a major agreement on Sept. 5 with Holmes Community College (HCC) to create an academic partnership to increase educational opportunities and degree completion for students. This Academic Partnership Agreement formalizes JSU’s commitment to work collaboratively to meet the educational needs of the citizens of Mississippi.
HCC President Dr. Glenn Boyce; Dr. Don Burnham, vice president of the Ridgeland campus; JSU President Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers, JSU Provost James C. Renick, and Dr. Priscilla Slade, special assistant to the JSU provost for community colleges, were among those in attendance.
Others on hand include numerous faculty from both institutions and Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee and state Rep. Rita Martinson of Madison.
The memorandum of understanding will allow HCC students to pursue a bachelor’s degree from JSU in selected fields, including elementary education and criminal justice. JSU will provide junior and senior level courses on the campus of HCC, establishing a process for the students to receive a JSU degree without leaving the Ridgeland campus.
“This is an opportunity for two educational institutions to work together to increase baccalaureate attainment. It also creates stronger lines of communication among faculty while building innovative teams to enhance research and curricular ventures,” Meyers said. “This partnership contributes to students’ sense of place by allowing them to continue their education without leaving the community where they began their higher education experience – right here at the Ridgeland campus of Holmes Community College.”
Boyce said the partnership is in line with the goals of Mississippi to achieve a post-secondary education for a larger percent of its population.
“We’re bringing a university education and a community college foundation to them. They’re going to be able to reach their dreams,” Boyce said. “We also want to reach out to non-traditional students.”
Jackson State already has an agreement with Hinds Community College that is focused on easing the transition from community college to a four-year university. The JSU-Hinds Community College partnership is a key part of JSU’s overall community college initiative.
Under the agreement, HCC will provide classroom space and a list of potential graduates and their corresponding degree programs, and both institutions will develop and maintain specific Matriculation Agreements (MAs), outlining courses to be taken at HCC and courses to be taken at JSU. The MA guarantees to the HCC student that the prescribed courses may be used toward a specific degree plan at JSU.
“This is unique in that it offers the JSU degree on the community college campus,” Slade said.
Renick said the signing comes at an exciting time for higher education in Mississippi.
“We’re reaching out to students throughout the state to provide increased educational opportunities. The Community College Relations office was developed for this purpose,” Renick said.
Jackson State University is a diverse, technologically-advanced, four-year university steeped in history and committed to preparing its students to become global leaders. The university provides a caring, nurturing environment in which to challenge students to improve themselves and serve others. Designated as a high research activity university, JSU continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, health, technological and educational initiatives.
Holmes Community College, a comprehensive public institution located in central Mississippi, provides innovative educational and cultural opportunities to its constituents through campus-based and distance education programs. The college seeks to prepare its students for university transfer, productive employment and lifelong learning by offering an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degree, technical certificates and career certificates, as well as workforce training. Holmes, whose primary commitment is to excellence in all areas, offers affordable, equal access to higher education in an attractive, secure, multi-campus environment.
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About Jackson State University: Challenging Minds, Changing Lives
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, health-care, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in the Jackson metropolitan area, Jackson State is located near downtown, with three satellite campuses throughout the city. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu or call 601-979-2121.