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New plan a plus

Institutions of higher learning often compete against one another, frequently in subtle ways.

It is a pleasure, then, to recognize three colleges in our area are cooperating in a way that is of very real benefit to students.

Officials of Bethany College, West Liberty University and Wheeling University announced their new initiative last week. They believe it is the first of its kind in the Mountain State.

Under the arrangement, students at any of the institutions will be permitted to take one class per semester at one of the others.

Credit will be given just as if the course had been taken at the home institution. Those hours will count toward students’ degrees the same as those obtained at their home schools.

The new arrangement affects fall and spring semesters only.

Students attending classes off their home campuses will pay tuition only to the institution at which they are registered. That cuts through the unnecessary red tape and makes it more convenient for students to take advantage of the exciting new opportunity.

As presidents of the participating institutions noted last week, the new agreement provides students with impressive new flexibility.

For one thing, they can take classes not offered at their home college or university. That could open up impressive opportunities.

In unveiling the plan, all three presidents pledged to continue working together.

That is good news — but not unexpected. The three have had good relationships in the past.

Making such arrangements work can be challenging. But doing so also is highly appropriate because, after all, the students and their educational needs should be the top priority of the leaders of each of these institutions.

Good for officials at Bethany, WLU and WU for deciding this new program was worth the effort, on behalf of all of their students.

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