New River CTC, Bluefield State University sign articulation agreement

Agreement will allow students earning an Assocaite’s Degree at New River to transfer credits to BSU on journey to receiving Bachelor’s Degree
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 3:26 PM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - A new agreement between New River Community and Technical College and Bluefield State Univesity (BSU) is creating a clear pathway for students completing Associate’s Degrees to continue on in their educational journey.

“It represents a looking forward for both New River and Bluefield,” Dr. Beez Schell, Vice President of Academic and Students Affairs at New River CTC, said of the agreement.

“...this is all about the students. This is about the partnership because it’s really focused on what we can provide our students.”

The agreement went into effect immediately after its signing at New River’s Mercer County Campus in Princeton on Friday, September 29. It establishes a two-plus-two model, meaning students will complete two years at New River to earn an Associate’s Degree and can then have all their credits transferred to BSU.

“They’ll come in as a junior,” explained BSU Provost Sarita Rhonemus. “They’ll be taking their 300 and 400-level courses, because, with New River, they’ve already completed their lower level, which are your 100 and 200-level courses.”

School leaders tell WVVA that this model creates a direct degree map for students’ futures, which not only saves them from wasting time and money on unnecessary courses, but also can make the experience of higher education as stress-free as possible.

“We know that a lot of students, in particular in our area, don’t think that college is for them- that they can’t do it and that is definitely not the case,” Dr. Schell shared. “...and so, if we can chip along at this, your 60 credits- that feels so far off, right? But if we can build in some different little micro-credentials and certifications and then at the end say, ‘You’ve got your Associates. Now, just dream of you having that Bachelor’s Degree.’”

According to Rhonemus and Dr. Schell, this opportunity isn’t just available for new or current students. New River alumni, who are hoping to return to school, can also transfer their credits to BSU and receive a Bachelor’s Degree.