Published on June 18th, 2021 | by TLV News1
Area Colleges Team Up to Simplify Degree Completion
Northeast and Ole Miss launch Path4 program to streamline college experience
Northeast Mississippi Community College and the University of Mississippi have launched a joint program to provide seamless four-year college experiences for Northeast Mississippi residents looking to complete their college educations and move into rewarding careers, all while staying close to home.
The Path4 initiative, announced in May, was developed by UM and Northeast faculty and staff with the goal of giving area students a streamlined journey through their college education.
“When our students can get ahead of schedule for graduation, it is always a great situation,” NEMCC President Ricky Ford said.
“We are thankful for the University of Mississippi offering NEMCC students the opportunity to be dual-enrolled at both institutions and receive a great education right here at home.”
In the Path4 program, students have the advantage of receiving a slew of joint services, including coordinated advising between the two institutions that will clearly mark the path for completing an associate degree at NEMCC that leads into a smooth transfer of academic credits to the UM Booneville or UM Tupelo campus.
This will allow students to complete their bachelor’s degrees from Ole Miss in as short as time as possible and move into their chosen careers.
The Path4 program will also decrease out-of-pocket costs for students, said Derek Markley, executive director of the university’s Tupelo and Booneville regional campuses.
“Many students are often in a situation where it is in their best interest to complete a required course at NEMCC while enrolled at Ole Miss,” Markley explained. “In addition, many NEMCC students are in a position that would allow them to take a course or two at Ole Miss during their last semester at NEMCC.
“In previous years, we could not package that financial aid together, and students in either situation would be left paying out of pocket. Path4 will allow these students to package financial aid together and maximize their award while they work toward completing a degree.”
Students who take part in the Path4 program also have access to scholarship opportunities, joint student services and professional organizations.
Tam Salters, associate director of admissions at the UM Booneville campus, said she feels that the new Path4 program is a good investment for local students.
“Most of our students are already employed, but they want to be promoted or move into positions that require a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “Through Path4, students can complete both their two-year and four-year degrees locally on the NEMCC campus, which is convenient for those students who are already familiar with campus and want to stay closer to home.”
Markley reiterated the benefits that the new program will offer not only for students personally, but for the community as a whole.
“By increasing access and affordability to educational opportunities, UM and NEMCC are working together to provide local residents with the tools they need to find successful and rewarding careers right here in our communities,” he said.
“It is our purpose to help students achieve their professional goals and assist in the development of a highly educated regional workforce that keeps the Northeast Mississippi economy strong.”
Story by Pam Starling/University of Mississippi