Washington State University is exploring a partnership with Community Colleges of Spokane that could provide classroom space for CCS students on WSU’s Pullman campus as early as January.
The two institutions seek to better serve CCS’ Pullman students, many of whom share the goal of attending WSU once they complete their community college coursework.
“We believe this partnership will help smooth the transition for community college students who aspire to earn a four-year degree,” said Erica Austin, WSU Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with one of Washington state’s premier community colleges in providing students in our state additional access to a bachelor’s degree and all of the opportunities our state’s higher education system has to offer.”
Earlier this year, Spokane Falls Community College leadership announced that budget reductions could result in restructuring or reducing course offerings in Pullman. Currently, SFCC and SCC offer courses in Pullman’s Gladish Community and Cultural Center.
The goal is for SFCC and SCC to relocate to WSU’s Kruegel Hall so their faculty can begin offering courses there in January 2017 in classrooms not currently dedicated for use by WSU faculty. The community college district already has numerous direct transfer agreements with WSU.
WSU and SFCC faculty and staff collaborating on work groups will continue to develop implementation details, and both institutions expect the partnership will provide mutual benefits and increased access for students seeking higher education opportunities in Whitman County. SFCC serves about 175 students per quarter in Pullman, and about 70 percent of those students previously attended WSU and plan to return.
“I believe we have turned our budget crisis into an opportunity that will result in better services and expanded opportunities for our students,” said SFCC President Janet Gullickson. “WSU already is an excellent partner for our transfer students, and having classrooms on their campus will streamline that pathway.”
A memorandum of understanding regarding the partnership is scheduled to be presented to the SFCC Board of Trustees and the WSU Board of Regents in November.
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