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(SMS Photo)

Southeast Missouri State President Kenneth Dobbins. (SMS Photo)

(Cape Girardeau) – A new partnership between Southeast Missouri State University and Missouri State University-West Plains will now allow students at Southeast’s three regional campuses to now earn a two-year Associate of Arts from Missouri State-West Plains.

Southeast President Kenneth Dobbins and Missouri State University-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett made the announcement Tuesday at Southeast’s regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, MO.

Beginning next fall, Associate’sPLUS will allow Southeast regional campus students the opportunity to earn a degree in just two years, and students can pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree without transferring institutions, leaving a Southeast regional campus or losing credits.

Under the reverse transfer agreement, Southeast regional campus students may earn an Associate of Arts after completing 62 credit hours, 15 of which will be from Missouri State-West Plains. The 15 credit hours will be available online, and students may complete them while attending a Southeast regional campus. The remaining hours will be taught by Southeast faculty at a Southeast regional campus. At 62 credit hours, Missouri State-West Plains will grant an Associate of Arts, and students will be well on their way to a bachelor’s degree.

No additional application fee is required to participate, and regional campus students may use Southeast’s A+ Scholarship program, with the same qualifiers as the state program, while completing their lower-level coursework. Students may remain enrolled as a Southeast student and simultaneously enroll in one or more classes through Missouri State-West Plains. Missouri State-West Plains will offer several online courses in biology, computer science and macroeconomics, and other general education courses available to Southeast students every semester.

Southeast and Missouri State University-West Plains officials say this new collaboration is in response to state and federal mandates to partner with other Missouri institutions and to find ways to increase the number of degree/certificate holders in the area. To ensure both institutions were following state guidance, Southeast and Missouri State-West Plains officials worked with the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) for review before proceeding with the program.

Currently, Southeast students can earn a four-year bachelor’s degree at Southeast’s regional campuses in Sikeston, Kennett and Malden. Southeast offers 10 bachelor’s degree programs available entirely at its regional campuses with eight programs offered completely online. Additionally, students may also earn an A.S. in dental hygiene at Southeast’s Sikeston campus in cooperation with Missouri Southern State University.

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