April 16, 2014 9:27:08 AM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
Mississippi University for Women President Jim Borsig told Columbus Rotarians Tuesday that a dramatic increase in degrees awarded is an indicator the school is on the right track.
According to Borsig, The W has had an 86 percent increase in baccalaureate degrees since 2008. In 2008, 356 people graduated from the university with baccalaureate degrees. That number rose to 688 bachelorette degrees in 2013.
"That's pretty unprecedented," Borsig said. He added that The W awarded more degrees in the college of nursing in 2013 that was awarded in the entire university in 2008.
"That gives you some idea of the growth of one of our state-wide missions, which is in nursing," he said. "It's counterintuitive to our size, but we have the largest college of nursing in the state of Mississippi. That's by head count and that's by degrees earned. We are the leader in numbers and we are the leader in quality, having 100 percent pass rates for our nurse practitioners."
In addition to its mission in nursing, Borsig said the university has another state-wide mission in culinary arts. The W is in a partnership with East Mississippi Community College, Hinds Community College in Jackson, and Gulf Coast Community College.
Borsig said the university has a strong history of being a liberal arts college.
"We still produce great teachers, we still have a very strong college of arts and sciences and are very proud of our tradition of a liberal education.
"I don't think there is any time anymore important than now for a high-quality liberal arts education. Every one of our graduates completes the same core of the liberal arts...you want our students to be able to speak. You want our students to be able to write. You want them to be able to focus on critical thinking. You want them to be able to work in groups. You want them to be able to lead a community in a civil manner.
"Those are the things that happen in a liberal arts education and our liberal arts education is infused across our college of business and professional studies, across the college of nursing and across the college of education and I think that I could make the argument that in this day and age where we tend to have pretty shrill arguments about things, that being able to have more well-educated graduates who can lead civic clubs, lead other organizations, lead community kinds of activities all really helps us move this region, any region in the country forward."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.