February 18, 2010 2:24:00 PM
STARKVILLE -- Building on many decades of neighborly relations, Mississippi State and Mississippi University for Women signed a memorandum of agreement Thursday [Feb. 18] that allows students to earn both an MSU bachelor''s degree and an MUW nursing degree.
The two universities also formally moved ahead with a joint culinology degree, which was approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning, at its regular monthly meeting.
Through the memorandum signed by MSU President Mark E. Keenum and MUW President Claudia A. Limbert, the Golden Triangle-area schools agreed to develop a process to enable MSU students enrolled in a specially designed pre-nursing curriculum--and accepted into MUW''s nursing program--to simultaneously earn bachelor of sciences degrees in Starkville and Columbus, respectively.
"All students who opt to enter the new interdisciplinary pre-nursing track at Mississippi State and satisfy the requirements of the MUW bachelor of science in nursing program will hold degrees from both institutions," Keenum explained.
He said the agreement presents new opportunities for students enrolled at each school and creates programming strengths through collaboration.
"This agreement will benefit students who are interested in completing pre-nursing requirements at Mississippi State and the nursing program at MUW," said MSU Interim Provost Glenn Steele. MSU has about 200 students enrolled in its pre-nursing program, he added.
Culinology is a course of study combining food science with the culinary arts. MSU''s longstanding food science, nutrition and health promotion department provides academic preparation for careers such as food scientists, nutritionists and health educators, among others.
MUW''s Culinary Arts Institute, which has earned national recognition, immerses students in food preparation techniques, menu development and business skills, among others.
The new degree program created from the two merged academic areas becomes one of only 12 in the nation.
"This is a natural blending of two very strong programs that will be jointly administered by representatives of both universities," said Keenum. "We are delighted with the reciprocal arrangement that will benefit students at both of our institutions, make effective use of shared expertise and resources, and provide expanded career options."
The two public institutions also are planning to explore collaborations on a number of certificate programs that would allow cross-enrollment of their students, depending on which campus teaches the specific subject.
"Possible areas of interest are cognitive science, gerontology and gender studies," Keenum said. "We believe it''s another way of broadening opportunities for students on both campuses."