MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Students interested in engineering at West Virginia State University in Charleston can now start their degrees at WVSU and more easily finish them at West Virginia University. West Virginia University entered into an articulation agreement with West Virginia State University on Thursday.
“We’re signing a memorandum of understanding between West Virginia State University’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering for a two-plus-two program,” says WVSU Dean of College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Katherine Harper.
“Our undergraduates will take their first two years of an engineering program at West Virginia State and then be able to transfer up to WVU to complete their program.”
Harper says the arrangement will also allow WVU to increase its recruitment area. And, West Virginia State has a legacy of educating minorities and under-served populations which will lend itself to WVU’s commitment to diversity.
She notes it won’t be a problem finding students to take advantage of the program.
“Right now, even before we made this public, we have about 10 students who expressed an interest in engineering and we really didn’t have any place to put them.”
WVSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. R. Charles Byers says the program is one way of keeping students in West Virginia.
“It’s of great significance. As a native West Virginian, I’ve always advocated collaboration among our institutions. We did not have, or do not have, a viable engineering program. Many students would often ask about it, so this is an avenue by which they can start and then complete their education in a West Virginia University Systems school.”
WVU Dean of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Gene Cilento notes there is a practical side to the program as well.
“The nice thing about this attractive program, students can stay at home for a couple years, and then transfer to complete their engineering degree in disciplines that we have up here.”
Although the arrangement is only for the college of engineering, Statler says he sees the program expanding to other disciplines.
“I can see this expanding further. And what we’ll do is we’ll work together. The idea of the articulation agreement, it gives us an agreement, a structure from which we can work.”