Marshall is lucky enough to be the home of several top-notch institutions of higher learning. They are a credit to their fields of study and allow East Texans the opportunity to study in their own backyard.
Last week two of these schools, East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College, signed an articulation agreement that will fast track the completion of a Master of Arts in Religion from ETBU for Wiley students. The program will allow seniors at Wiley to earn dual credit for courses in religion, in one swoop rounding out their bachelor’s degree and getting a head start on their master’s.
This program will surely foster a closer relationship between the two institutions. Wiley and ETBU already share many qualities, not least of which are they are both private schools, they each stress Christian values and serving the community and one another. This program will bring a greater diversity to all students enrolled who will be able to share their unique experiences learned at their respective colleges with one another. This agreement will benefit students in several ways.
While there are scholarships and financial aid available to students, there is no way to gloss over the expense of a college degree. Being able to shave off even a few semesters from a student’s college career can save thousands of dollars of debt the student or parents would otherwise owe after graduation.
Time saved is another great advantage of this program. While many students enjoy the simple act of learning in itself, being able to complete one’s education and begin working in a chosen career path quickly is no small benefit.
Earning a master’s degree before the typical timeline could feel like a reward for students who know going into their degree plan what they want to do in life and what they want to achieve in school.
We are glad to see this type of program adopted locally as it has been implemented successfully at other, larger schools in the state.
This is the first time an articulation agreement has been set between the institutions and ETBU President Samuel “Dub” Oliver and Wiley President Haywood L. Strickland both expressed their positive hopes for the future of the program and the cooperation of the two schools at the signing last Wednesday.
We hope students see the tremendous value in this dual education program and seek these schools out to be a part of the master’s program. The success of the program will be measured by the success of the students as they prepare for life after college.
(Editorial published in the Marshall News Messenger, March 23, 2014)