Clayton State University, Gordon State College partner to form master’s nursing degree pathway

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Heralding the association of the two schools were Clayton State President Dr. Tim Hynes, Jr., (at left) and Gordon College President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks (at right). Photo/Submitted.
Heralding the association of the two schools were Clayton State President Dr. Tim Hynes, Jr., (at left) and Gordon College President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks (at right). Photo/Submitted.

MORROW, GA — Clayton State University is making it easier for undergraduate students at Gordon State College (GSC) to earn an advanced degree in nursing.

Under this new agreement, a GSC student who earns a Bachelor of Science in Nursing will be eligible for priority review for admittance to Clayton State to earn a Master of Science in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner degree.

“This agreement allows for another opportunity to formalize collaboration with our colleagues at Gordon State College. It provides a clear path for nursing students completing undergraduate nursing education at Gordon State to graduate degree work for a Family Nurse Practitioner at Clayton State,” says Clayton State President Dr. Tim Hynes, Jr. “And for many Gordon graduates, it will provide guaranteed admission to a highly competitive graduate program at Clayton State. There is only good to be found in partnerships that can benefit our shared students. I am grateful to the colleagues that helped make this agreement possible.”

This articulation agreement, which officially began on November 5, 2020 and will end on November 2, 2025, provides course offerings in the Gordon State School of Nursing, Health and Natural Sciences’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and Clayton State’s School of Graduate Studies’ Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a concentration for the Family Nurse Practitioner.

“Signing this agreement with Clayton State is another example of our strategic plan at work,” said Dr. Kirk A. Nooks, GSC President. “Partnering with Clayton State to provide our graduates access to a well-recognized Master of Science in Nursing program is good for the student and our region. The opportunity to continue their education journey while addressing the continued healthcare needs of our community is what the Power of WE is all about.”

In addition to gaining admittance to Clayton State, Gordon State students who enter Clayton State pursuant to this agreement may be assured that the courses specified in this agreement will transfer to Clayton State University, if the minimum grade requirements are met.

The program articulation agreement is designed to minimize loss of credit and course duplication and is made contingent on both parties maintaining all applicable program and institutional accreditation, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

“At Gordon we are always looking for ways to give our students the Highlander EDGE when entering the workforce,” said Dr. Victor Vilchiz, Dean of the GSC School of Nursing, Health and Natural Sciences. “This collaboration with Clayton State will provide a seamless educational path to students whose professional goals include leadership roles as health providers in their communities.”

Clayton State University officials hope the agreement will build a strong applicant pool of master’s degree applicants to Clayton State and create a pipeline to educate nursing professionals with the advanced skills necessary to care for the culturally diverse rural, urban and suburban populations found in greater metro Atlanta and the Southern Crescent.

“This is a great example highlighting the collaborative efforts colleges and universities are undertaking to more effectively grow the ranks of advanced nursing professionals in order to meet the primary care access needs in our area. Committed groups on both campuses worked really hard to make this a reality,” says Dr. Michael Scott, chief nurse administrator at Clayton State University’s School of Nursing.

Claayton State’s main campus is in Morrow, while Gordon’s main campus is in Barnesville, in Lamar County.