Applause filled the MHCC Board room on the morning of Nov. 25 as Mt. Hood President Debbie Derr and Edward Ray, president of Oregon State University, signed an agreement that would grant eligible students dual enrollment at both schools.
The new enrollment option will be available starting in the Winter Term, which begins Jan. 6.
OSU created its first Degree Partnership Program agreement with Linn-Benton Community College in 1998. Ray said it was developed by smart people who wanted students to fulfill their dreams and “make it as easy as possible” to cut through transfer obstacles.
Robert Cox, MHCC dean of student services, and John Hamblin, MHCC manager of admissions, records and registration, said students may be dual enrolled their very first term as long as they are admitted to OSU, pass the OSU entrance requirements and complete the program application.
There is a single fee for the application process. Students considering the partnership program also should be planning to further their education at OSU. When they do officially change schools, they would not have to re-apply for admission.
The dual enrollment program is intended to reduce barriers students often encounter when transferring to a university. It should allow them to better manage their class schedules, finances, transfer of credits and other details.
The agreement will allow students to work with their advisers at MHCC and OSU simultaneously. It calls for coordination between career counselors, advisers and teachers. Students may access services at both campuses, such as the library and the computer lab.
Students will become eligible to live on campus at OSU. Technological services such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Oregon Financial Aid Exchange (OFAX) also will be integrated to help dual-enrolled students.
During the Nov. 25 signing, OSU leader Ray noted that 10 percent of students who attend community college do so with plans to transfer to a four-year university. The dual enrollment program seeks to meet those needs.
Diane Noriega, chair of the MHCC Board, said the pact furthers the Mt. Hood mission.
“This is a huge opportunity for our students… everything we can do to clear the field, and advance their learning” should be pursued, Noriega said.