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West Virginia Northern Community College, Franciscan University of Steubenville Ink Articulation Pact

An agreement was signed Thursday designed to help some West Virginia Northern Community College students seamlessly complete their bachelor’s degrees at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

WVNCC students majoring in criminal justice, social work and early education will be eligible.

“When we were beginning to talk about this, I was just excited that we can serve one another,” the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, told WVNCC officials and all those gathered.

“I think, ultimately, that this will benefit Franciscan University but it also benefits West Virginia Northern. Ultimately, it’s about the young people, and it’s about the students and serving them and forming them to make sure that they’re able to do what is in their heart to do, but also what we believe what God would invite them to do,” Pivonka said.

Daniel Mosser, president of WVNCC, agreed and was pleased about the possibilities.

“We’re here today to sign an articulation agreement, uniting our two social work degree programs,” Mosser said. “It’s a partnership. It’s creating a pathway for students.”

The agreement now gives students in the two-year degree program at WVNCC a pathway to follow for a bachelor’s degree at Franciscan University.

“Those credits they earn in the two-year college transfer seamlessly to the four-year college,” Mosser said. “They bring their degree with them, they bring their credits with them, and they don’t lose credits, coursework and hard work in classes in the transition. So, it’s a formal pathway. That’s what it is.”

The demand for social workers continues to expand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market remains strong in all three professions with a median pay of $50,000 for social workers, $60,000 for law enforcement fields and $60,000 for elementary educators.

Prior to signing the agreement, Pivonka joked that fences make good neighbors, and some may feel the same about a river. But building bridges is important, Pivonka noted.

“One of the things I was thinking about is neighbors and being able to get along with neighbors,” Pivonka said.

The articulation agreement could also be viewed as a way to become more neighborly.

“We’re looking forward to the first students starting to cross that bridge,” Mosser said.

While the agreement is set to take hold this summer, officials say WVNCC students enrolling in classes this fall will likely see the full implementation.

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