STOCKTON -- Two local colleges came together Thursday to formalize a partnership that will change how students can get a college degree in Stockton.
"I just think it’s absolutely the most wonderful thing that has happened in a long time around here and it’s just going to be awesome for our students," said the President of San Joaquin Delta College Dr. Kathy Hart.
San Joaquin Delta College and Stanislaus State have signed off on a partnership that will enable students to graduate from the Turlock-based Cal State without ever leaving Stockton.
"We’re calling it WOW, Warriors On the Way. So the Mustangs are galloping on their way to becoming a Warrior and when they come here they know there is a pathway to becoming a Warrior," said Dr. Ellen Junn, the president of CSU Stanislaus.
Before the agreement, it was difficult for students graduating from Delta College to complete their bachelor's degree without having to leave the area. Now, nine different bachelor's degree programs, including psychology, business and communication studies, will be offered at Stanislaus State’s Stockton center that Delta College students can begin working toward when they enroll at the junior college starting this fall.
"Creating this seamless pathway, from preschool all the way through doctorate," said Dr. Faimous Harrison, the dean of the CSU Stanislaus Stockton Center. "We want to have local options for residents to actually continue their education here."
Several master’s degrees, credential and a doctorate program will also be offered at the Stockton Center, which currently serves over 800 students. Stanislaus State says they are already considering ways to expand their reach in Stockton if this new pathway goes as planned.
"Having an opportunity to expand opportunities locally, increase the amount of degrees and to grow exponentially," Harrison said. "If that’s going to meet the needs of the constituents, that’s what we are here for."
The schools say classes will be offered to ensure a timely completion of the degree and hope to make higher education more accessible to the thousands that call San Joaquin County home.
Stanislaus State hopes to expand this partnership with other junior colleges in the region.