South Expands its Pathway USA Program
Posted on October 24, 2022
The University of South Alabama is expanding its Pathway USA program, opening more doors to opportunity for community colleges students to earn a four-year degree.
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Alabama, became the seventh Pathway USA institution when it signed a partnership agreement on Thursday, Oct. 20. Two additional community colleges are collaborating with the University on a new but similar program, Map Your Path.
“We understand the value of our community colleges and view them as important partners,” said Dr. Andi Kent, South’s executive vice president and provost. “Our primary goal with Pathway USA and Map Your Path is removing as many barriers as possible for students to transfer to South, further their education and gain the required skills to stay competitive in the labor market.”
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College joins Bishop State Community College, Coastal Alabama Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jones College, Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State College as Pathway USA schools.
Representatives from Reid State Technical College in Evergreen, Alabama, and Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery both signed agreements with South last week to be part of the new Map Your Path program. Other institutions may soon follow.
Discussions with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College about joining Pathway USA began earlier this year when President Jo Bonner and other University leaders visited the region on a recruitment visit.
“One of our priorities is to expand access to education along the Gulf Coast, and that includes Alabama’s important Wiregrass region from Andalusia to Dothan,” Bonner said. “Pathway USA and Map Your Path give more students the opportunity to earn a South Alabama degree, and through that, a first-class ticket to a brighter future.”
According to the Community College Research Center, 80 percent of new community college students aim to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Both Pathway USA and Map Your Path seek to make the process easier by streamlining the enrollment process to South for transfer students earning an associate’s degree at a partner community college. The programs offer advising through USA to plan for both two-year and four-year course work; a transfer team assists students through the enrollment process. In addition, Pathway USA students receive access to certain on-campus benefits including tutoring help, resources at Marx Library and admission to sporting events.
“We want our students to complete their degree in as short amount of time as possible,” said Dr. Nicole Carr, associate vice president of student academic success at South. “We work closely with them and make sure they’re earning credits that apply to their associates degree and towards their bachelors level degree, and that they utilize financial aid efficiently through degree completion.”
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