Jackson State University (JSU) and Hinds Community College (HCC) signed an academic partnership agreement on Monday, March 29, at the School of Engineering on JSU’s main campus, 1400 John R. Lynch St., Jackson. The agreement allows a seamless transition for students and professional development for faculty and staff at both Hinds County institutions of higher learning. Participating in the official signing will be Jackson State University President Ronald Mason Jr., Hinds Community College President Clyde Muse, JSU Provost Felix Okojie and Theresa Hamilton, vice president, HCC Raymond campus and director of college parallel programs.
“JSU looks forward to helping Hinds Community College students take the next step in their pursuit of a baccalaureate degree and encouraging the professional development of faculty and staff,” Mason said. “Both institutions are committed to our missions of preparing students to become leaders in the global community.”
Said Muse: “We are pleased for this opportunity to partner with the public university in our neighborhood. Strategic partnerships between higher education institutions are an important effort that encourages degree attainment among our state’s citizens.”
Upon completion of an associate’s degree at HCC, students will be able to pursue a bachelor’s degree at JSU. Without articulation agreements between institutions, Mason added, students sometimes face many obstacles when trying to transfer credits from one institution to another to complete an undergraduate degree.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “this prevents students from completing their degree in a timely manner.”
Also, the agreement provides tuition and fee waivers for faculty and staff at the respective institutions who want to engage in professional development activities and/or desire to attain additional degrees.
“With JSU, we’ve taken an additional step that will provide tremendous benefits for employees at both institutions,” Muse said. “The reciprocal tuition waiver program for our employees is a substantial financial benefit for faculty and staff seeking to increase their knowledge and skills. It’s win-win for everyone.”
The agreement builds upon an already strong relationship between the two colleges. According to the Office of Policy Research and Planning at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, for the 2008-09 academic year, 41 percent of Hinds students who transferred to one of Mississippi’s public universities enrolled at Jackson State.