Bridgeport, CT - Community colleges in southwestern Connecticut are offering students a guaranteed pathway to bachelor’s degrees thanks to a new agreement reached with Lees-McRae College. Dr. Thomas G. Coley, Regional President at Shoreline-West Connecticut State Community College and Dr. Lee King, President of Lees-McRae College signed a memorandum of understanding on February 24 at a virtual signing event that helps students transfer and obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Other signers to the agreement included Dr. William T. Brown, CEO, Gateway Community College (GCC); Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO, Housatonic Community College (HCC); and Cheryl C. DeVonish, Interim CEO, Norwalk Community College (NCC); as well as representatives from LMC, including Kevin J. Phillips, VP for Enrollment Management; Wayne M. Leon, Executive Director of Distance Learning and Transfer Programs; and Amanda Merritt, Director of Admission.
The agreement puts in place a guaranteed admission program between the four colleges beginning with the Fall 2021 semester. The program provides automatic admission to North Carolina-based Lees-McRae for all students attending Gateway, Housatonic, and Norwalk Community Colleges who complete an Associate’s degree and meet stated academic and grade point average requirements.
Furthermore, upon admittance to Lees-McRae, students from GCC, HCC or NCC will receive academic merit scholarships in amounts up to nearly 70% off the Lees-McRae annual main campus tuition rate. Tuition discounts are also available to these students entering one of Lees-McRae’s online degree completion programs. The merit-based scholarships for students from GCC, HCC or NCC are significantly higher than those awarded by Lees-McRae to transfer students from institutions that are not part of the agreement.
Leaders of the educational institutions commented on the agreement’s significance in advancing the educational needs of our region’s community college students.
“In signing today’s historic agreement, this partnership is a shining example of the work we are doing at the Connecticut State Community College to develop innovative pathways to meet the educational needs of our students, and improve their access to quality and affordable higher education. Through this collaboration, we are elevating our commitment to furthering students’ academic journeys, as they strive to achieve their personal and career goals. Gateway, Housatonic and Norwalk Community Colleges are honored to partner with Lees-McRae College in this important endeavor,” said Dr. Coley.
“Today is an exciting day for the Shoreline-West Region Connecticut State Community College and Lees-McRae College. I look forward to working with students from Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, and Norwalk Community College. At Lees-McRae, we can offer students the prospect to continue their education in one of our online programs or one of our experiential on-campus programs. Lees-McRae prides itself on attracting and serving students from many states and backgrounds. This partnership with Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, and Norwalk Community College is a great way to further that mission,” said Dr. King.
“We want to expand opportunities for our students so that they can strive to reach the goals they envision. Through this agreement, we are encouraging students and increasing their possibilities so they may have valuable options for furthering their education,” said Housatonic Community College Academic Dean Robin Avant.
The agreement will be reviewed and renewed on an annual basis. To learn more about southwestern Connecticut’s community colleges visit Gateway.edu, Housatonic.edu and Norwalk.edu. Visit LMC.edu to learn more about Lees-McRae College.