Opening the door to more degree options

By Gregg Jones

Students in the East Central College, Jefferson College and Mineral Area College districts now have access to more degree options without additional costs.

That’s thanks to a new “Beyond Boundaries” partnership which allows for students in those neighboring districts to work toward a degree in select programs at in-district tuition costs. The agreement — signed during Community College Month — is a partnership through the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA). Beyond Boundaries will go into effect this fall.

East Central College President Jon Bauer, Jefferson College President Dena McCaffrey and Mineral Area College President Joe Gilgour inked the agreement earlier this month.

“I’m very excited to clear more paths for students,” Bauer said. “By collaborating in this way, we continue to show how community colleges are the best value in higher education.”

He added that he appreciates the amount of work put into the Beyond Boundaries partnership. “We are indebted to our chief academic officers for developing this landmark agreement,” Bauer said.

Improving access

The new partnership benefits residents in each of the districts by boosting access to higher education and increasing degree options, according to Gilgour.

“This collaborative program between these community colleges will improve access, affordability and opportunities for students seeking career pathways that are not currently offered by their in-district college,” he said.

Some degree options that will become available under the Beyond Boundaries partnership are ECC’s culinary arts program, MAC’s law enforcement program and the veterinary technology program at Jefferson College.

According to McCaffrey, graduates of those programs help lead to a more robust workforce in the region.

“This is an exciting initiative that will provide quality-learning experiences to prepare students for jobs that are in demand,” she said.

“The heart of this initiative is about harnessing the collective expertise and capacity of community colleges to improve access, affordability, and flexibility for those seeking one of several career pathways not currently offered by their in-district college,” McCaffrey added.

Programs included

When the program launches this fall, students in the MAC district will pay in-district tuition rates for music, culinary arts, radiologic technology and veterinary technology programs at Jefferson College; and music and culinary arts at ECC.

Jefferson College students will pay in-district tuition for building construction, industrial engineering technology and agricultural pathway programs at ECC; and engineering technology-design/drafting and industrial maintenance programs at MAC.

Students at ECC will benefit from Beyond Boundaries by paying in-district tuition for law enforcement program at both MAC and Jefferson College, as well as physical therapy assistant and veterinary technology programs at Jefferson College.

This article originally appeared here.


Gregg Jones

is director of communications and marketing at East Central College in Missouri.