COLUMBIA, SC (courtesy MetroColumbiaCEO.com) — Columbia College and Midlands Technical College have paved the way for students to complete two degrees in four years while attending two colleges simultaneously. The colleges have formalized a unique nursing agreement that creates a seamless transition for students to earn Associate in Science Degrees in Nursing from Midlands Technical College and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Nursing at Columbia College.
Columbia College President Dr. Carol Moore and Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames signed the agreement May 3, just one year after the two schools formalized a comprehensive bridge agreement covering multiple programs.
“The partnership between our two colleges is longstanding and continues to evolve as we strive to meet the changing demands of the healthcare industry,” said Rhames. “We want to do everything possible to provide our students clear pathways to the next steps in their educational journeys. This agreement will lead to an increase in the number of students who go on to complete their BSNs.”
The advantages of being dual students creates a new educational experience. Students in the program will have the opportunity to live on the Columbia College campus for all four years, and participate in all the student activities and events offered at both Columbia College and Midlands Technical College.
“We’re very excited to offer this unique program.” exclaimed Dr. D’Michelle Dupre, Program Chair of the BSN Nursing Program at Columbia College. “Students can earn two degrees in four years and in their third year possess the tools and credentials needed to work as an RN. This will permit hospitals to gain access to more nurses in a shorter amount of time. It’s a win-win for the student and for the hospitals.”
Students who meet the qualifying criteria for admission into the nursing program at MTC will attend orientation and receive a start date upon admission to Columbia College. During the initial two years, students are at Columbia College working on the liberal arts core courses, general education courses, and MTC nursing prerequisite requirements.
“This allows these students to take courses toward graduation and transition right into clinical hours at MTC without lag time,” said Trilla Mays, MTC’s Nursing Department chair. “The third-year students transition to Midlands Technical College classrooms for hands-on training in the field of nursing, while still having the ability to live on the Columbia College campus.”
While at Midlands Technical College, students will complete the ADN and sit for their Nursing Board exams to become Registered Nurses. After graduating from MTC with their ADN, passing the NCLEX-RN, and receiving their RN license, students have the option of attending their final classes at Columbia College on campus or online to complete their BSN.
“This was a year-long effort between the two colleges,” Moore said. “It would not have been possible without the tremendous effort and cooperation from the representatives from each school who worked so hard to make this unique program happen.”