Southeast, Mineral Area College Partner to Ease Transfer for Education Graduates to Southeast

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Southeast Missouri State University and Mineral Area College (MAC) officials signed a memorandum of understanding for the Transfer Mentor Program today to help MAC students plan a pathway to success, ease their transition to Southeast and complete their degree.

Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, and Dr. Steven Kurtz, president of Mineral Area College, also signed an articulation agreement paving the way for a seamless transition for MAC Associate of Arts in Teaching graduates to transfer into four Southeast Bachelor of Science in Education programs.

“We are pleased to partner with Mineral Area College on these agreements and continue to meet the higher education needs of students in this region by providing the tools, resources and support they need to be successful,” Vargas said. “This agreement reflects the interests of both of our institutions and underscores our commitment to help prepare outstanding teachers who are educating students in classrooms throughout this area.”

The free Transfer Mentor Program helps community college students plan and track their degree program at Southeast from their very first semester of college. Mineral Area College students who participate will be assigned a transfer mentor, offering them individual support as a community college student through their first semester of enrollment at Southeast.

“We’re grateful Southeast is treating Mineral Area College students as if they were their very own,” Kurtz said. “This agreement will enable our students to have clear and concise support and advising to ensure their courses are transferable as they make progress on their associate degrees. We look forward to working with Southeast so that our students have a clearer path to the completion of a bachelor’s degree.”

As part of the program, MAC students will be assigned an individual support mentor and have access to academic advising at Southeast and Southeast’s web-based degree management system. The program also provides students opportunities for concurrent enrollment and reverse transfer to earn their Associate of Arts degree.

Students are encouraged to join the program as they begin their first semester at MAC.

Every semester, MAC will send an official college transcript to Southeast at no cost to the student. This will allow the MAC student, MAC staff and Southeast to share information, manage progress towards their degree and have access to their transcripts in a web-based degree management system.

With the institutions working directly together on behalf of the students, Southeast’s Office of Admissions can create a clear pathway for the MAC students’ ultimate goal of a four-year degree while giving them good guidance and mentorship to succeed.

Front row, from left are Dr. Steven Kurtz, president of Mineral Area College (MAC) and Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. Back row, from left are Dr. Diana Stuart, dean of MAC’s Arts and Sciences Division; Roger McMillian, dean of MAC’s Career and Technical Education Division; Shaw Young, coordinator of MAC’s Education Program; Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of Southeast’s College of Education; Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost; Dr. Simin Cwick, chair of Southeast’s Department of Middle and Secondary Education; and Brooke Lockhart, assistant director for transfer recruitment at Southeast.

“We want to provide any opportunity for students to finish their degree on time,” said Lenell Hahn, director of Admissions at Southeast. “If there’s a class they need that is not offered at MAC, we want to encourage them to take the class concurrently at Southeast while still at MAC if that’s going to give them a quicker path to completing their degree. Our goal is to save the students time and money.”

No matter what degree path a student may take, the Transfer Mentor Program encourages collaboration between Southeast and partnership institutions for the benefit of student success, said Hahn.

The program brings the University and MAC together with the same technology and advising platforms to work collaboratively on behalf of the students. The program lifts the burden from students to track and plan their future by themselves and even allows mentors to foresee opportunities. The transfer process, including the requirements for applications, registering, advising and financial aid, can be complex to navigate, but the Transfer Mentor Program can help throughout every step.

When students from MAC are ready to enroll and apply for admission to Southeast, the application fee will be waived for Transfer Mentor Program participants.

Today’s education articulation agreement signing eases the transfer for students from MAC’s Associate of Arts in Teaching to Southeast’s Bachelor of Science in Education programs in early childhood education with elementary education add-on certification; exceptional child education with elementary education add-on certification; elementary education; and middle school education.

“This agreement will provide a clear pathway for students to earn their degree, leading to licensure in the state of Missouri,” said Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of Southeast’s College of Education.

The education articulation agreements allow students to complete Southeast’s four-year education degrees, giving students the opportunity to save money by studying locally while still attending an award-winning program, Rogers-Adkinson said.

Dr. Diana Stuart, dean of MAC’s Arts and Sciences Division, added, “Mineral Area College is dedicated to offering students an affordable education close to home, saving both the cost of tuition and housing while attending MAC. We are excited this partnership will allow our students to pursue a quality, economical education and be well prepared to complete the second half of their education degree at Southeast.”

The agreement reflects Southeast and MAC’s dedication to support the K-12 school districts in Missouri that are striving to fill openings for extraordinary teachers and address teaching shortages in critical and rural areas, Rogers-Adkinson said.

Southeast educator preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

For information on Southeast College of Education degree programs, call (573) 651-2123 or coe@semo.edu.

For more information about Southeast’s Transfer Mentor Program, visit www.semo.edu/transfermentor or call (573) 651-2590.

Top Photo Caption: Dr. Carlos Vargas, right, and Dr. Steven Kurtz, left, celebrate a memorandum of understanding for the Transfer Mentor Program and education articulation agreement between Southeast Missouri State University and Mineral Area College.