Just six months ago, the future of Mountain State University was in jeopardy. Tuesday, the University of Charleston officially welcomed the former MSU into its UC family.
A ribbon cutting took place on campus to kick off the first semester at UC-Beckley. Online classes began Monday. Students head into the classroom next Monday.
UC-Beckley President Dr. Jerry Forster along with UC President Dr. Ed Welch welcomed the community as well as local and state leaders to campus to learn more about their mission.
Forster says for the first semester UC-Beckley is focusing on the basics.
“We have to take care of the students we do have in the spring and equally as important, recruit a good many more students for additional online programs they can start in the spring and regular on-campus programs that will begin in August,” Forster said.
Five hundred students are signed up for the spring semester. That’s a mix of returning MSU students, as well as those who have been readmitted and 100 new students.
Forster says it wasn’t easy to finish up the last semester of MSU and make the transition to UC-Beckley in just a few weeks time but it’s been accomplished.
“Kudos to our recruiting staff and registrar folks for dealing with these challenges and bringing these students in at the eleventh hour.”
Forster says it was important to offer classes both online and on campus that reflect the needs across southern West Virginia.
“We have a variety of programs that are relevant to those that are seeking jobs, relevant to adults, to traditional students,” explained Forster.
But the president says UC can’t make the programs in Beckley a success without some help.
“We are going to need a lot of partnerships with education leaders, the civic leaders, the business folks so that we can understand what programs strategically which programs will best serve the region,” Forster said.
UC proposed the takeover of MSU last year. It wasn’t approved by the Higher Learning Commission until early December.