FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2011
BMC, MUW sign graduate school agreement
BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women and Blue Mountain College have chosen collaboration over competition to help improve the quality of educational leadership.
The two schools on Wednesday signed an articulation agreement that will allow MUW to accept 12 graduate credit hours from BMC for the Educational Leadership Program – a master’s degree curriculum for the preparation of school administrators.
Dr. Bettye Rogers Coward, president of Blue Mountain and an alumna of MUW, said the partnership between the two schools is “a natural."
“One of the positive changes in higher education is the openness of some colleges and universities to work together to provide the highest quality of educational services for students and to accommodate students in the delivery of these services,” Coward said.
“Blue Mountain College, a private institution, and Mississippi University for Women, a public university, take seriously our role in preparing educational leaders. By partnering, we can extend our services to a larger student population and create a larger pool of educational leaders in our region and beyond.”
Allegra Brigham, interim president of MUW, agreed, saying, “Collaboration and cooperation among institutions of higher learning is a critical component of twenty-first century education.
“We all have to look at ways we can share our expertise with each other for the benefits of our students and for the institutions as a whole. When we work together, everybody achieves more.”
Dr. Sue Jolly-Smith, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at MUW, said the partnership offers many positives and she emphasized two areas: “It’s exciting to work with another institution with such a similar mission and vision. Our colleagues at BMC are very easy to work with because we’ve all got similar philosophies.
“We’re also excited because of the benefits for the students,” Jolly-Smith added. “The more diversity we have in our programs the more enriched our students’ degrees will be. This will be a big win for the state.”
Dr. Janice Nicholson, dean of graduate studies at BMC, said the agreement will be a good thing for both schools.
“It will allow students in this area to come to BMC to take these 12 hours,” she said, “and it will also allow MUW to expand into this area. The bottom line is that it provides opportunities for both schools.”
Nicholson emphasized that this agreement was very specific to both the program and the two colleges; that it is not a matter of taking a few courses at one school and transferring them to another.
“It’s only for four specific courses and it’s only between MUW and Blue Mountain,” she said. “MUW is a great school and we’re excited to be working with them.”
Both schools began as female colleges – BMC in 1873 and MUW in 1885 – but over the years have developed into coeducational liberal arts institutions of higher learning. Both have a rich history of preparing teachers.
The memorandum of understanding specifically notes the compatibility of the two schools “through similar philosophies in the preparation of future educators; educator preparation programs of similar size; both institutions’ program offerings at the graduate and undergraduate levels; (and) shared commitments to the partnering school districts of the region to provide credentialed and prepared school personnel. …”
“I don’t know of any other public-private agreements like this,” Nicholson said, “but we need to continue to develop school leaders and I think this is a strong partnership.”