WEST MEMPHIS — Mid-South Community College and the University of Memphis have signed a transfer agreement designed to help Crittenden County students interested in attending the Tennessee institution.
“It is a great day any time we can create a better relationship with an educational partner that puts us in a position to create more opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Glen Fenter, MSCC President. “It is particularly a great day when that partner is an institution as significant as the University of Memphis. We are certainly excited and genuinely moved that the University of Memphis has seen fit to enter into this partnership that will benefit our students and our community.”
“Obviously, we think this is a huge step forward for our institution and a tremendous opportunity for our students. We applaud the University of Memphis’ leadership and vision in reaching out to eastern Arkansas, and we hope this will lead to even greater days, more relationships between our institutions, and a stronger connection that will benefit our students, community and region.”
U of M President Dr. Shirley Raines said the university is excited about its association with MSCC.
“I am thrilled to be here,” Dr. Raines said. “We want to grow the economic development of this entire region, and that has been the hallmark of Mid-South Community College. The University of Memphis has as one of its strategies to build productive partnerships, not just to partner with anyone and everyone. We want partnerships that work.”
“The University of Memphis is here because we want to partner with individual students to create a smoother transition. It’s important that the institutions know each other and work together to design the kinds of programs that fit students’ needs. We are successful, one student at a time, one program at a time. We have a vibrant future ahead of us, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to work together.”
In addition to Dr. Raines, other U of M officials present for the signing included Provost Dr. Ralph Faudree Jr,; Dr. Shannon Blanton, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs; Betty Huff, Vice Provost for Enrollment Services; Dr. William Akey, Department of Leadership faculty member; Dr. Brian Meredith, Director of Admissions; Susan Elliott, Director of Special Events; Gloria Moore, Associate Director of Admissions; Yolanda Mathews, Coordinator for the U of M Center for Academic Transitions; Kate Howard, Assistant Director of Recruitment and Orientation Services; and Sean Boyd, Recruitment Office.
Dr. Fenter, Dr. Raines, Dr. Faudree, and MSCC Vice President for Learning and Instruction Lynne Sharp participated in the official signing.
Crystal Burger, a graduate of Marion High School and Mid-South Community College and now a junior at U of M, expressed excitement about the partnership.
“I think it will help a lot of students because many of the people that I have talked to are considering the University of Memphis that but thought it might be too hard to transfer there,” Burger said. “This agreement will make it easier.”
Jeremy Reece, MSCC Director of Enrollment Services at MSCC, described the partnership as “very exciting for our students.”
“Through this agreement, MSCC students who complete an associate of arts degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 will be guaranteed admission to the U of M. Students enrolled on our campus who choose to participate in the PEP program will also have access to the U of M library which is a huge resource. It’s the best of both worlds. The students will be able to participate in general education classes on our campus at our reduced tuition rate, but they can get that large campus feel if they know that the U of M is going to be their college home.”
MSCC students in the program will also have the opportunity to apply for transfer scholarships. The university generally limits scholarship eligibility to graduates of Tennessee community colleges, but Crittenden County residents who complete an AA degree at Mid-South are now included in the application/selection process. Crittenden County students also qualify for in-state tuition at the U of M.
The PEP program provides numerous benefits for students transferring from MSCC. It enables them to enjoy improved and collaborative academic advising, and it paves the way for a more seamless transition to a four-year university. Further, PEP participants will not be charged an additional application fee when they transition to the U of M after graduating from MSCC. Students will also have the opportunity to attend Tiger sporting events at a reduced cost.
“This will give our students the opportunity to become more familiar with the University of Memphis campus, and they will more than likely have connected with an advisor in their field, making the transition and the process much smoother,” Reece said.