Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 13, 2013

BSC, WCC sign business articulation agreements

KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WYTHEVILLE, Va. — A new partnership between a West Virginia college and Virginia community college will allow business administration, business management and business accounting students to transfer seamlessly between the two institutions.

Officials with Bluefield State College’s (BSC) W. Paul Cole Jr. School of Business and Wytheville Community College’s (WCC) Division of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business Information Systems signed three business program articulation agreements Tuesday permitting WCC students to more easily transfer into Bluefield State business programs.

Dr. Steve Bourne, Dean of the Bluefield State W. Paul Cole Jr. School of Business, said the agreement will allow WCC students to take classes at Bluefield State online or through video-streaming.

 “These articulation agreements are beneficial to both Bluefield State College and Wytheville Community College, but more importantly, to the students who can now build on an associate degree from WCC by attending BSC,” he said. “With our use of course video streams, many students who have work and/or family obligations that make it impossible to attend classes on campus will now be able to attain a baccalaureate business administration degree from BSC.  Combined with the reduced metro tuition rate, this makes the BSC Cole School of Business an attractive option for graduates of these WCC programs.”      

Donna Fender, Dean of the WCC School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business Information Technology, said the agreement will benefit students in both communities.

“The agreements between Wytheville Community College and Bluefield State College will greatly benefit our communities by allowing students an additional choice for continuing their education after completing an associate degree at WCC,” Fender said. “In addition to the reduced tuition option along with and the ability to complete courses from home, students will be able to decrease the overall cost for completing a baccalaureate degree with BSC.  This exciting initiative will be beneficial to many families and we are excited to be able to participate.”

Jim Nelson, director of media relations at Bluefield State College, said the agreement between the two schools has taken some time.

“This process began last year,” Nelson said. “There has to be an awful lot of coordination and collaboration between both schools to make sure everything fits in with the different courses and degrees. Of course, there are many benefits for both schools and students.”

Some of these benefits will include reduction in tuition rates for WCC students, distance learning opportunities, course video streams and online classes. In addition to WCC, Nelson said Bluefield State currently partners with at least six other local community colleges.

“We partner with at least two other community colleges in West Virginia and at least four in Virginia,” he said. “The idea is a lot of times a student who has spent the first two years at ac community college is often place-bound. These community colleges have robust online degree programs and allow students to get used to those community college courses before transitioning into a four-year institution. The transition between college and high school can be a little overwhelming for some students. Community colleges can help that transition.”

With declining high school populations in the surrounding area, Nelson said it is important for institutions like Bluefield State to expand their recruitment base.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com