Leaders at Texas Woman's University, North Central Texas College and Denton ISD last week signed innovative agreements aimed at enhancing the talent pool of nurses and teachers in Denton and Cooke counties and elsewhere.

The agreements allow students to earn degrees more quickly and at lower cost while curbing administrative costs at the institutions.

"We are glad to have a transfer process for our students that is seamless and affordable, allowing them to be successful in reaching their goals and entering the workforce," said NCTC Chancellor Brent Wallace.

The nursing agreement allows NCTC students on its Gainesville campus to simultaneously pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing at TWU while earning an NCTC associate's degree. The program enables NCTC students to earn bachelor's degrees in nursing from TWU in four years, effectively completing 75 percent of their instruction at NCTC.

The program is a departure from standard community college-university articulation agreements in that the partnership allows students to be co-enrolled in both programs.

The other partnership will create a clear pathway for the Denton ISD to "grow its own" teachers by identifying prospective students as early as possible. The students will receive mentoring, complete the district's Education & Training program in high school, and then have a choice of attending TWU directly or enrolling first at NCTC to complete core courses and subsequently continue educator preparation at TWU.

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