NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville State and Middle Tennessee State University have announced a new partnership that will make it easier for students to earn their degrees.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce projected in the next decade baby boomers will retire creating 22,000 unfilled jobs in the area. Now more than ever it's important to have a trained workforce ready to step in and some say this partnership is the first step.
Danielle LaRue wants to get the best bang for her buck, especially when it comes to her education.
"You're kind of shopping for your degree," LaRue said.
She's working her way through Nashville State, paying for one class at a time. In the fall, even before getting her Associates Degree, LaRue plans to transfer to MTSU with a mixture of excitement and regret.
"I was starting to feel like I spent so much time here," she said about being at Nashville State. "I'm not going to get an Associates from here? (I was) starting to feel like I wasted time here."
With that handshake, Presidents from MTSU and Nashville State entered into a new partnership that will ease the transition for students between both schools.
"We are providing priority registration for students at Nashville State who may need to take University level courses," MTSU President Dr. Sidney A. McPhee explained. "We're providing additional support services to help those students speed up the process of completing the requirements for a degree."
In addition, Nashville State students, like LaRue, can transfer to MTSU and still apply those credits towards an Associates degree from the community college.
"It looks really great to employers as well," LaRue said. "They have their Associates. They went and they got their Bachelors and for those who are going to pursue their graduate degrees. That's pretty awesome."
Now her education will come at a fraction of the price and she says it's money well spent.
"It's all about money right now. That's pretty much what it boils down to," she adds.
What makes this partnership attractive to business leaders is that 80 percent of MTSU graduates stay in Middle Tennessee. Nashville State students have to meet certain requirements, including admissions standards at MTSU, to be eligible for the program.