PITTSBURG — On Tuesday, Pittsburg State University signed an articulation agreement with Independence Community College which will make transferring to the university more smooth, as well as accelerating the partnership between the schools.

For PSU, this will be the second agreement with ICC. The first was in 2010 with the elementary education department.

Upon completion of their associate's degree at ICC, engineering technology students will be able to use a maximum of 66 credit hours towards the fulfillment of 130 or 129 credit hours required for the completion of the bachelor’s of engineering technology degree at PSU — majoring in mechanical or manufacturing engineering.

The students must also maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA at ICC in order to transfer into PSU’s program. These students will also be eligible to compete for academic scholarships at PSU.

“It is important, for our students, to create seamless pathways from community college to Pittsburg State University and onto the world of work, graduate programs or furthering their careers,” PSU President Steve Scott said.

Scott said the agreement is a real win for students.

“This is a great situation and great partnership — the real winners are the students, that’s who really benefits from these agreements,” he said.

ICC President Daniel Barwick said because of the schools’ geographic locations, it is only natural for the schools to partner.

“Our rich partnership isn’t so much a beginning, it’s an acceleration of the kinds of partnerships we can have — these two schools, which Dr Scott has referred to as seamless opportunities for students,” he said.

“In the end, what is this about? Of course it is about the students — it's about their dreams, it's about their educational goals and helping them in their minds and through coursework — a clear path to success.”

Eric Schlange, a PSU senior in mechanical engineering from Independence, ran a demonstration of CNC mill during the conference.
Schlange said the agreement could have benefited him a few years ago when he enrolled at PSU. He may have been able to use all of his credit — now that there is a partnership it will be really nice for incoming students, he said.

Barwick said the partnership gives students a clearer path to success.

“It’s this kind of cooperation and this type of teamwork that provides that support that allows our advisors and Pitt State advisors, to sit down and say if this is what you want to do here’s how you do it,” he said.

“That’s how you provide value to these students — the clear path followed up by marvelous education that first, community college can provide and then an outstanding stay at a university like Pittsburg State University.

“I think this agreement is just one of a number that will sure to come in the future and I think they will create additional and increasing value for all of our graduates at juco schools.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.