Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue and Ray L. Belton, chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport, signed an agreement today that makes it easier for graduates of the Shreveport college to transition into a four-year bachelor’s degree program at Grambling State University.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by the president and the chancellor at an afternoon ceremony in the Grambling president’s conference room in Long-Jones Hall. The agreement is effective immediately.
The agreement means that Southern-Shreveport students who graduate with an associate’s degree in business management, event management or accounting can seamlessly transition to enrollment in GSU’s four-year bachelor’s business degree program with all course credits accepted toward a four-year degree. Though it is not a formal part of the agreement, the two institutions have agreed to find ways to develop scholarship opportunities for a few students each semester.
“We have to do it before we’re forced to do it,” said Pogue. “We’re doing it for the students, and we ought to set the pace.”
Belton agreed, saying the institutions made this agreement “for the benefit of students,” providing a “seamless transition from one institution to the other.”
Cynthia Hester, chair of the Division of Business Studies at Southern University at Shreveport, and Carl N. Wright, dean of the College of Business at Grambling State, worked on the agreement. Hester said the Southern-Shreveport program has nearly 100 students in the business program and graduates 25 to 30 with associate degrees each semester. She said the goal is for four to five Southern graduates to transition to Grambling State each semester.
“This is a good thing for the College of Business because we’re starting a hospitality program and that’s one of their priority focus areas,” said Carl Wright. He went on to say that Southern Shreveport graduates are getting jobs in the casino and hospitality industries in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and adding a four-year degree will allow more students to move into management, providing greater diversity in industries that greatly need more diversity.