'Value-added’ transfer agreement

March 7, 2016

JCCC students who transfer to MidAmerica Nazarene University get perks

Students at Johnson County Community College who intend to transfer to MidAmerica Nazarene University may notice a more seamless transition after a “value-added” articulation agreement was signed March 3.

Johnson County Community College President Joe Sopcich and MidAmerica Nazarene University President David Spittal signed an agreement that allows JCCC students these perks:

  • Free access to attend MNU sports, cultural arts, community life or other designated free student events with their JCCC student identification card
  • A 20 percent tuition discount for select MNU professional studies programs
  • Exclusive scholarship opportunities

Somewhere in the clouds…

The JCCC/MNU agreement germinated on a Southwest Airlines flight somewhere over the heartland. Boarding the plane, Sopcich noticed the seat next to Spittal was empty. “And because this was Southwest, and you can sit where you want, I plopped myself down next to David,” Sopcich said.

They talked about the similarities of their institutions and created the seed that would sprout into the current articulation agreement.

“That’s because when college presidents sit down together, things happen,” Spittal said.

During the signing, Spittal said he was looking forward to having JCCC students in the bleachers at MNU home games. After the signing, he reflected on the two schools’ histories. “We are currently celebrating our 50th anniversary, and JCCC is, too, of that same era,” he said. “Your 50th is coming up. We have that shared history.”

Why does this matter?

Articulation agreements are important, since community colleges need to know their students will be able to transfer to a four-year school without losing credits, and universities need to know that community college students have been adequately prepared for the next phase of their education.

Agreements like these also address that nebulous feeling of “belonging” to a four-year institution and its impact on bettering students’ chances for degree completion.

A recent study found that if a student takes a year off between community college and university enrollment, the odds of that student ever graduating with a bachelor’s degree drop by 26 percent. By creating a streamlined path, MNU and JCCC are helping students make that vital transition.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with MNU and all the great work you do in this community,” Sopcich said. “Your institution is a fixture, certainly in Olathe, but in Johnson County as well, and we appreciate your efforts to come together to work with our team.”

“We all realize that we’re in the business of making the path clearer for students,” Spittal said. “We’re really excited about this plan, and we’re pleased to have this working relationship.”

For more information

JCCC also has signed similar articulation agreements with Baker University, Ottawa University and the University of Kansas. For more information about transfer opportunities for JCCC students, contact the counseling department or start online.