The University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College signed an agreement Monday that creates a fast track to earning college business degrees in the Fredericksburg region. The pathway program allows students to complete both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree online in about two-and-a-half years, saving time and money.
The ultra-accelerated route provided by the two schools starts with Germanna’s “College Everywhere” program, which gives students the opportunity to earn a two-year associate’s degree remotely in just 12 months. Those who transfer to UMW can then finish the major in business administration, also online, within an additional 18 months.
That’s great news for Cheryll Mosley, a 32-year-old single mother of two from Stafford County who’s nearing completion of a one-year associate’s degree at Germanna. Next, she’ll transfer to Mary Washington’s AACSB-accredited College of Business. “I know what I want, and I know how to get there. This program has really helped me grow,” said Mosley, who plans to start her own business.
“This is all about the students,” said UMW President Troy Paino. “This is about removing obstacles, creating access and opportunities, lowering costs, accelerating time to degrees. All of those things are really going to make a difference, not only in the students’ lives but in our community.”
An important part of the mission of public colleges and universities, Paino said, is preparing citizens to enter and excel in the workforce, give back to their communities and make a difference in the world. Germanna President Janet Gullickson praised the decades-long “special relationship” between the community college – UMW’s top transfer partner – and Mary Washington that’s been dedicated to achieving this goal.
“We’ve grown together, and together we’ve helped our communities grow and thrive,” she said. “We’re proud to be Mary Washington’s partner and thrilled they’re joining us to make it easy for Germanna ‘College Everywhere’ graduates to get where they want to go in life more quickly and affordably.”
While the agreement, which includes a transfer component that smooths the transition from associate- to bachelor-level coursework, was created specifically for ‘College Everywhere’ participants, it’s an option for anyone interested in majoring in business at UMW. Transferring students must have completed at least 15 credits and hold a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75.
This new pathway builds on agreements already in place between Mary Washington and Germanna, including a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership and a co-enrollment agreement that allows students to take up to five courses at UMW while completing an associate’s degree. This lets them take advantage of the Mary Washington campus and meet faculty in their desired major.
Partnerships like these, including the business administration major agreement signed Monday, are designed to encourage student achievement, increase bachelor’s degree completion rates, improve access and equity, and benefit the community.
“With our conversations with our colleagues at Germanna, we have discovered that many of the students in the College Everywhere program are from this region,” said UMW Interim College of Business Dean Ken Machande. “After graduation, the sky is the limit for these students, but most will have strong local ties to our region.”