| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – A more efficient and affordable pathway to a degree in nursing was established with Oct. 4 with the signatures of the presidents of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Westfield State University (WSU).
Dr. John Cook, president of STCC and Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, president of WSU, officially signed an articulation agreement between the two schools that establishes RN-to-BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) program.
STCC Vice president of Academic Affairs Dr. Arlene Rodriguez said the new program is “seamless and more appropriately, affordable.”
Rodriguez explained that WSU instructors would teach nursing courses at night and that 90 credits from STCC nursing credits are transferable into the new program. The new program is considered a hybrid as it combines online and on-campus classes.
The cost for the successful completion for the final 30 credits is $10,500, which WSU Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Marsha Marotta described as “the most affordable pathway of its kind in the area.”
Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Carlos Santiago congratulated the two schools on their collaboration and said, “The transfer works you do is among the most difficult work but you can put it down as the most important.’
He explained agreements such as this one have been challenging to accomplish between institutions as “[the educational] disciplines have been difficult.”
According to Jessica Holden, a nursing instructor at WSU and the director of the RN-BSN program, the goals in the Commonwealth is to increase the number of BSN nurses from 55 percent in 2010 to 66 percent by 2020.
For more information on participating in the program, contact Holden at 572-8440.