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Blue Ridge Community and Technical College makes articulation and transfer deal with university

Only two areas of study - accounting and business - currently are part of the new agreement, but officials anticipate the addition of other majors

April 03, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • University of Charleston Regional President Jerry Forster, center, signs a transfer agreement document Wednesday as Blue Ridge CTC president Peter Checkovic awaits his turn during a ceremony at Blue Ridge campus in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An agreement signed Wednesday by leaders of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College and the University of Charleston provides another option for students to seamlessly transfer from one school to the other to continue their education, officials said.

The agreement provides Blue Ridge CTC students who complete an associate degree the option of transferring to the University of Charleston’s Martinsburg campus to pursue a bachelor’s degree without the risk of losing credit for completed course work.

Only two areas of study at Blue Ridge CTC — accounting and business — currently are part of the new agreement, but officials anticipate the addition of other majors such as nursing and criminal justice in the future.

“Students won’t have to repeat course work when they transfer to the four-year school,” said Blue Ridge CTC faculty member Brett Caffarelli, who helps coordinate the establishment of articulation and transfer agreements with other colleges.

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University of Charleston President Edwin H. Welch, who joined Wednesday’s signing ceremony by telephone, said the agreement is “really, really important to us” and added that he hopes it is just the beginning of a strong collaborative relationship between the Charleston, W.Va.-based university he leads and Blue Ridge CTC.

“We’re very serious about this, it’s not casual,” Welch said. “I’m very interested in continuing conversations about ways that can deepen the relationship.”

Blue Ridge CTC already has similar agreements with Shepherd University and West Virginia University, among other educational institutions, but President Peter G. Checkovich touted the value of having the University of Charleston as a local option for its students through the private university’s fledgling Martinsburg campus.

The University of Charleston-Martinsburg became a reality after Mountain State University lost its accreditation last year and ceased to operate, effective Jan. 1.

The University of Charleston opened its Martinsburg campus at the former home of Mountain State University on Viking Way.

The University of Charleston currently offers bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business administration, organizational leadership, political science (pre-law) and psychology, and master’s degree programs in business administration and strategic leadership at the Martinsburg campus, according to the school’s website.

The agreement was signed at the start of Blue Ridge CTC’s Board of Governors meeting on the main campus by Checkovich and Jerry Forster, the University of Charleston’s regional president.

Blue Ridge CTC students who serve in the West Virginia National Guard and transfer to the University of Charleston will be eligible for a “Golden Eagle” scholarship that will provide up to $9,000 per year in tuition assistance, while the state of West Virginia provides a $6,500 educational stipend to National Guard members, according to the school.

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