This semester, Hastings College and Central Community College (CCC) of Hastings have expanded a partnership that, in the past, primarily allowed HC business majors to specialize their degrees. Now, HC students can complete a variety of minors through CCC’s diplomas to diversify their degrees and build experience for their careers.
This expanded partnership, a result of more than a year of discussion and planning from HC and CCC faculty, allows students to simultaneously complete diploma programs from CCC that will also count as minors from HC. While this does not replace or invalidate the process of taking external courses and transferring those credits to HC, the partnership allows HC students to have more support and coordination from both institutions when completing approved courses.
“The prompt really was wondering why any student can’t take these opportunities out at CCC, instead of only the business students. That’s really what the base of the program is,” said Barbara Sunderman, vice president for academic affairs.
To be eligible for this partnership, sophomores and above must have full-time enrollment of at least 12 credits. Students can enroll in up to two classes from CCC per semester, but the diploma cannot overlap with coursework already offered at HC. Any courses taken at CCC for the completion of an approved diploma will be paid for by HC through payment vouchers, for up to 18 combined credits.
In contrast to the previous terms, students of any major can now customize their degrees to fit their interests and gain practical experience.
“They have really great equipment that we could just never provide, so our students will be able to go out to CCC and take advantage of manufacturing programs. You can imagine a student who gets a B.A. from us and combines it with a manufacturing program from CCC, and what they’re able to do for local businesses to provide leadership in those areas,” Sunderman said.
A major reason for this partnership is the difference in resources between the two colleges and a mutual desire to provide the best experience for students and the Hastings community.
“It’s exciting … students really get to think about what their vision for their life is, where their interests lie, and how they can maybe partner their bachelor’s degree with a technical minor they didn’t know they wanted,” Sunderman said.