PHILIPPI, W.Va. — In 2015, Alderson Broaddus University partnered with Pierpont Community and Technical College to offer students graduating with two-year applied science degrees in petroleum technology to continue their education at ABU.

Now, a new articulation agreement is giving even more students that opportunity by expanding that partnership to additional programs.

“I do know that we have had students from Pierpont already who have participated in our prior arrangement and have graduated from Alderson Broaddus,  so I have no doubt that this will be a much more attractive venture for many more students in other kinds of opportunities,” said Joan Propst, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs at AB.

Propst said she foresees students of programs such as paralegal studies, legal studies and criminal justice taking advantage of such an arrangement.

“Students can now complete their education here at AB and remain in an area that certainly is underserved in terms of that graduate rate for higher education, but also in bolding the economy and helping out those disciplines within this area,” she said.

While many associate Pierpont Community and Technical College with Fairmont State University, Pierpont’s President Dr. Johnny Moore said the institution aims to have a seamless transition with many of the region’s four-year universities.

“We’re not looking at public versus private, we’re looking at our students,” Moore said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re going to provide educational opportunities and pathways for our students and the agreement that we signed today does just that.'”

Moore said this articulation agreement is a prime example of how baccalaureate and two-year institutions in the state can do when working collaboratively and combine resources together.

“It’s unlimited on what we can get accomplished because at the end of the day, our goal and mission is to provide opportunities for students to be successful, and I think that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

Pierpont Community and Technical College Provost Michael Wade believes expanding the articulation agreement to more programs helps provide more students with what he says community colleges do best — help students to be workforce ready.

“It allows them to seamlessly transition from the work they’ve done here, while also earning their wonderful skillsets, their employable and marketable skills, their workforce development, and transition easily to Alderson Broaddus to continue their higher education, and that’s really what one of our goals and purposes at Pierpont is,” Wade said.

Wade added that this partnership is just the beginning.

“It’s really the beginning of forging of a relationship that will allow both institutions to grow, to synergize each other’s mission and provide a seamless opportunity for any of our students seeking higher education in West Virginia, which at the end of the day is really going to change their situation in life and for many, move them beyond their situation of poverty to one of having greater access to more opportunity,” he said.

Alderson Broaddus University President Dr. Tim Barry agreed, saying it’s a start but there’s still improvements to go.

“What I’m impressed with is that the fact we’ve done so much, but we have so much more to go, and we’re not concentrating on all the possible issues that come up, we’re trying to streamline the pathway for students from this institution to connect with our institution and to find similiarities and commonalities only to provide back to those students the very best quality institution, quality education they possibly can receive and allow them the priviledge of staying here to contribute to this region,” Barry said.