Northwestern State University and South Louisiana Community College signed an agreement to benefit criminal justice students who complete their associate degree and want to continue on a journey to a bachelor’s degree. SLCC Chancellor Dr. Natalie Harder and NSU’s Acting President Dr. Chris Maggio formalized the 2+2 articulation agreement Wednesday. This plan is designed for students to complete two years at SLCC followed by two years at NSU.
“Articulation agreements like this one are a win for both schools, our students and our state. SLCC and Northwestern State are preparing students to be work-ready upon graduation. This benefits our local and statewide law enforcement and corrections industries and our economy,” Harder said.
Agreements such as this save students time and money as they transfer credit hours from the two-year community college to the four-year university, administrators said.
“The memorandum of understanding provides that SLCC students who complete a prescribed curriculum in criminal justice courses can file an intent to transfer to Northwestern State to complete their bachelor’s degree,” Maggio said.
“This allows students to transfer their quality two-year degree to a quality four-year program. This seamless transfer of credits between institutions maximizes the students’ efforts in their course of studies and allows them complete their degree in an efficient manner,” said Joe Morris, head of NSU’s Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Science. “Both institutions serve the needs of their constituency and are responsive, student-oriented organizations that prepare their students to become productive members of society as well as promote the academic and improvement in the quality of life of citizens in their region.”
Northwestern State also offers a partial tuition exemption for students employed full-time as public safety officials enrolled as criminal justice majors.
SLCC’s Criminal Justice program provides students with a foundation of the American criminal justice and corrections systems. The program is expanding with day and evening course offerings and for the first time, Criminal Justice courses will be offered at SLCC’s St. Martinville campus in addition to the Lafayette campus this Fall.
“Offering courses in communities across Acadiana is a response to the need of our local law enforcement agencies,” said Paige McGee, head of SLCC’s Criminal Justice Department. She noted several agencies were interested in the program for their officers.
“It makes sense to partner with these agencies to prepare the local workforce and it makes sense to partner with four-year universities like NSU so that our students have a smooth transition to a bachelor’s degree,” said McGee.