Salem State University President John Keenan and North Shore Community College (NSCC) President Patricia Gentile signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) today, greatly strengthening a long-standing partnership between the two institutions. Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos E. Santiago joined the two presidents for the signing, held at North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus.
This expanded collaboration, titled the “Seamless Pathways Partnership,” is designed to create a seamless transfer pathway from NSCC to Salem State and significantly reduce the cost of a four-year degree. Some areas of expanded collaboration will include: removal of transfer credit barriers, deferred admissions to Salem State; offering NSCC students the opportunity to live in Salem State’s residence halls; collaboration on student activities such as clubs and sports; and connecting NSCC students with Salem State’s honors program, among others.
“This MOA is exciting as it will provide seamless transfer pathways from NSCC to SSU and options for dorm housing and extracurricular activities for NSCC students so that they can have a more full college experience,” said NSCC President Gentile.
“As the North Shore’s regional, comprehensive, public institution, Salem State must be proactive in ensuring that finances are not a barrier to educational aspirations and attainment,” said Salem State University President John Keenan. “Salem State has a longstanding commitment to providing an excellent education that is affordable, yet we know that cost still remains a challenge for many. We are hopeful that by bringing down the total price of a four-year degree, the Seamless Pathways Partnership can open doors for more students to achieve their dreams of a higher education.”
“In an era of enrollment challenges, I applaud what we’re seeing North Shore and Salem do today, which is to strengthen their collaboration to benefit students,” said Carlos E. Santiago. “I’m very pleased to see the range of opportunities being extended to our community college students, and my hope is that many of them will choose to pursue 4-year degrees.”
The Seamless Pathways Partnership was inspired in part by Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Commitment, which similarly seeks to lower the cost of a degree by facilitating transfer from a community college to a public four-year institution. The partnership builds on years of articulation agreements between the two institutions.