[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]WHEELING, W.Va – Bethany College entered into a historic agreement with West Liberty University and Wheeling University during a Thursday news conference at Wheeling’s Erickson Alumni Center.

Billed as the first of its kind in West Virginia, the agreement will allow students at any of the three institutions to take one class each semester at one of the others for credit toward their degrees.

Bethany President Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg, Wheeling President Ginny Favede, and West Liberty President Dr. Stephen Greiner touted the benefits such an agreement will have for the students and, ultimately, graduation rates at their respective colleges.

“This gives the student a much broader pool in which to swim and figure out who they are vocationally, who they want to be in life,” Rodenberg said. “The connection to a broader range of courses at partnering institutions is a key concept in our strategic plan, Bethany Connect. Serving students through connections is what Bethany College does best and we appreciate our partners in this.”

The agreement extends to the fall and spring semesters only, and participating students will pay tuition only to their home school. The collaboration between the leadership of the three schools and their registrars eliminates any extra cost to the student and the need to transfer credits.

“This serves the community as a whole,” Rodenberg said. “We should all be serving Brooke County, Ohio County, and beyond. Bethany College is delighted to be here.”

Favede acknowledged the struggles facing liberal arts colleges across the United States and called the new partnership an innovative solution.
“I’d like to think that this is an opportunity for those of us in West Virginia to show higher education what it means to be innovative and to work with others to benefit everyone,” she said.

The three presidents expressed a willingness to work together in the future.

“Let’s not make this the last collaboration,” Greiner said. “Let’s make it the first of many collaboratives among the three institutions.”

About Bethany College

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]