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Co-Lin, MUW partnering to offer four-year culinary arts degree

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / Mississippi University for Women President Jim Borsig and Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles sign a memorandum of agreement Thursday in Rea Auditorium on Co-Lin's Wesson campus.

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / Mississippi University for Women President Jim Borsig and Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles sign a memorandum of agreement Thursday in Rea Auditorium on Co-Lin’s Wesson campus.

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College has teamed up with Mississippi University for Women to offer Co-Lin students a way to earn a four-year degree in culinary arts at MUW.

On Thursday, Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles and MUW President Jim Borsig signed a memorandum of agreement for the program in Co-Lin’s Rea Auditorium. “This is something unique and special that we can do for our students,” said Nettles. “This opens an avenue for students who previously didn’t have this opportunity.”

The Technical and Professional Studies with a Concentration in Culinary Arts program will be a combination of the two-year professional training students receive at Co-Lin plus continued two-year study at MUW. The Two Plus Two program makes for a seamless transition between the two schools.

Scott Tollison, Dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies at MUW, said that these programs are a vital cog in developing a better work force. He explained that when Mississippi has a talented workforce, the state attracts more business and industry.

The culinary arts technology program offered on both the Wesson and Natchez campuses gives students exposure to basic cooking methods and science in a hands-on setting with special emphasis on culinary tools, equipment, techniques and specialty ingredients. The Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts provides a foundation for further education at MUW.

“We want to work with community colleges to give stacked credentials that will create pathways for students,” said Tollison.

Previously, Co-Lin has offered an Associate’s Degree in Food Production Management, but with the Two Plus Two program, students will now be eligible to receive the Associate Degree in Culinary Arts Technology. The new partnership is now in effect for students at Co-Lin.

This is the fifth program that Co-Lin has worked with MUW to develop. Tulison said he has seen great success with the others, so he expects that this will also work well. MUW has also partnered with other community colleges in the state creating Two Plus Two programs.

“We look forward to providing a seamless transition to their studies with us, and we thank Dr. Nettles for his leadership in creating this partnership,” said Borsig.

Career options for students receiving a Technical and Professional Studies with a Concentration in Culinary Arts Bachelor’s Degree include executive chefs, small business owners, caterers, food stylists and food photographers.

The four-year bachelor’s degree offered by MUW’s Culinary Arts Institute includes concentrations in food journalism, food art, entrepreneurship, nutrition and wellness, and culinology.

“We value this growing partnership with The W and also appreciate professional development opportunities it will afford our culinary arts instructors to enhance the current program,” said Jackie Martin, Co-Lin’s dean of career, technical and workforce education.