MSU, SMCC sign MOU for Bachelor of Applied Science degree program

Mark Keenum and Steve Bishop sign a memorandum of understanding at MSU.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum and Southwest Mississippi Community College President Steve Bishop sign a memorandum of understanding Thursday [Feb. 27] to formalize a pathway for technical education students at SMCC to complete MSU’s new Bachelor of Applied Science program. (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit signed a memorandum of understanding today [Feb. 27] to formalize partnership programs for students enrolled in technical education programs.

The agreement outlines a pathway for SMCC students to complete MSU’s new Bachelor of Applied Science program, leveraging the strengths of both institutions to provide more opportunities in technical education and meet current and future workforce demands.

“We need more two-year and four-year graduates to move Mississippi forward,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “By working together, I believe we’ll be able to better assist our fellow Mississippians in gaining the education they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century. We are committed to helping all of our BAS students excel, succeed and earn a bachelor’s degree—building on the excellent foundation they have been given at SMCC.”

“Thanks to Dr. Mark Keenum and Mississippi State for partnering with Southwest to provide another incredible opportunity for our graduates,” said SMCC President Steve Bishop. “The Bachelor of Applied Science will give many of our students a great option to continue their education beyond Southwest. We have always enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Mississippi State and look forward to working together to make this articulation agreement a success.”

MSU launched its BAS program in August, significantly expanding the university’s acceptance of technical credit from community colleges and military training. It is intended to serve the needs of adults who have completed a technical associate’s degree program through a community college or the military and need additional education to advance their careers.

The agreement between MSU and SMCC outlines which courses must be completed at each institution to fulfill degree requirements. An MSU advisor will assist in guiding SMCC students through BAS program pathways. Additionally, SMCC and MSU-Meridian will work together to provide classroom space for the delivery of synchronous online courses.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science program will have access to advisors from MSU-Meridian and MSU Online. Credits in the degree program can be earned through online or in-person courses, providing the flexibility that has become a hallmark of MSU’s nationally ranked online offerings.

For more on the Bachelor of Applied Science program, visit

For more on Southwest Mississippi Community College, visit

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Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 10:21 am