Reducing barriers towards earning a degree

Warner Pacific helping achieve Oregon's 40-40-20 goalWarner Pacific and Mt. Hood Community College are partnering to help more students earn college degrees and close the state’s higher education gap.

In 2011, the Oregon legislature approved the “40-40-20” education-reform plan. By 2025, the state’s goal is to have 40 percent of students complete a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent complete an associate degree or a certificate in a skilled occupation, and 20 percent earn their high school diplomas.

The largest gap, however, is seen with Oregonians aged 25 to 34 in completing at least an associate degree or certification, the middle 40 of the state’s reform plan. A mere 18 percent hold a community college degree or post-secondary certification, according to Oregon Learns.

WPC and MHCC MOU signing
Dr. Andrea Cook (President of Warner Pacific) and Dr. Debra Derr (President of MHCC) at the June 19, 2015, MOU signing ceremony.

At the June 19, 2015, signing ceremony, Warner Pacific and Mount Hood Community College committed to reducing barriers for community college transfer students and provide greater access to degree attainment through two initiatives:

  1. Co-admission/co-enrollment: this program allows students to be admitted to both institutions and take courses at both institutions simultaneously, providing students with a breadth of course offerings and class scheduling flexibility.
  2. Reverse transfer program: students who start at MHCC and transfer to Warner Pacific prior to earning an associate degree will be able to have coursework they complete at Warner Pacific (that meets the associate degree requirements) transfer back to MHCC so they can earn the associate degree enroute to earning their bachelor degree from Warner Pacific.

“Our hope, through these partnerships, is that we are able to provide more students the opportunity to earn both their associate and bachelor degrees as we partner to share information, advising, and financial planning resources,” said Dale Seipp, Jr., Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Warner Pacific.

As further explained in the June 25 Oregonian article about the partnership, “Prior to the official partnership, if a student wanted to take, say, six credits at MHCC and six at Warner Pacific during the same semester, this created financial aid complications, because the student was considered a part-time student at both places, but not a full-time student overall.”

The benefits for students include:

  • ability to obtain transferable credits at the lower tuition costs of MHCC
  • financial aid counts enrollment at both schools for the same semester/term (for qualified students)
  • increased flexibility in class scheduling as students will have access to classes at MHCC and Warner Pacific
  • dual enrollment at both schools
  • maintain active enrollment status as both schools and are eligible to use campus libraries, labs, and other on-campus amenities (subject to any additional fees)
  • advising available through both schools
  • easier transition from community college to a four-year college

Read the Oregonian article about the partnership…