MU, Moberly agreement meant to ease student transfer

Friday, September 18, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A new deal between MU and Moberly Area Community College aims to ease the mental and academic transition from two-year to four-year programs for students.

MACC President Evelyn Jorgenson and MU Provost Brian Foster signed an agreement for the Mizzou Connection Program on Thursday. Students accepted to the free program will be eligible for personalized mentoring, early MU advising and early registration while they still attend Moberly.

This is the first such program at MU and extends to three of the community college's six sites: Moberly, Columbia and Mexico, Mo.

“We want to make sure we are making the transition the easiest it can be,” said Terry Barnes, MU assistant provost for community college partnerships.

The program is meant to improve academic advising, to make transferring credits easier and to offer opportunities at MU to incoming students.

On average, 25 percent of MACC graduates show intent to attend MU based on the number of transcripts the college sends to MU, said James Grant, dean of students for the college. In May, the college had 241 graduates.

Right now, MACC has more than 5,000 students, up 29 percent from last year, said Jaime Morgans, director of marketing and public relations. Its Columbia location, 1805 E. Walnut St., has 1,700 students, up 26 percent from last year. Classes are held there, at Stephens College and at MU "because we just don't have the room," Morgans said.

Jorgenson said she hopes the Mizzou Connection Program will encourage more community college students to transfer to four-year degree programs.

“The process can be complicated and confusing,” she said. With the program, she hopes “the students will feel more comfortable."

Foster said he hopes the program will strengthen the relationship between Moberly and MU.

“Mizzou Connection will enable people to do what’s right for them,” Foster said at the signing in the lobby of Jesse Hall. He said he wants to make the transfer possible for someone who is committed to a four-year degree.

Under the agreement, MU will host a Mizzou Connection Day each semester for the participants. This will give students interested in the program an opportunity to learn more about its benefits. Advisers from MU and the community college will be on hand to help students in schedule planning

To be eligible for the program, a Moberly student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 upon completion of an associate of arts degree and a 2.5 GPA if he or she plans to transfer before completion of the associate's degree. The student must also complete 24 credits, including a C grade in college algebra or English composition II.

In addition to advising and mentoring, students in the program will be able to use MU's library system and recreational facilities and will receive periodic e-mails on special lectures, recitals and cultural events at MU.

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