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The Mount Partners with Esteemed Colleges & Universities to Offer Accelerated Degrees
By Raanan Geberer

The College of Mount Saint Vincent sponsors cooperative programs with various esteemed institutions of higher learning, which allow students to earn credits towards advanced degrees while pursuing their bachelor degrees at the Mount.

Students begin taking graduate courses in their junior year, so that they get a head start on earning their advanced degrees. These courses they take as juniors and seniors often count towards both their bachelor’s at CMSV and their graduate degrees at the host institution.

These programs include: a doctor of podiatric medicine offered in conjunction with the New York College of Podiatric Medicine; a master’s of occupational therapy offered with Columbia University; a doctorate in physical therapy with New York Medical College; a degree in optometry with SUNY State College of Optometry; and two master’s degrees with St. John’s University, one in sociology and the other in criminology and justice.

One of the newest cooperative programs at the Mount is a biomedical sciences partnership with Brown University. The Mount is one of four partner institutes with Brown, with the renewal of Brown’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) grant, says Assistant Professor of Chemistry Janet Rollins, who helped spearhead the Mount’s partnership with the Ivy League university.

Brown hopes to receive $3 million from the National Institute of Health (NIH), which will allow it to support 12 Ph.D. students a year at $40,000 per student per year. As part of this program, Mount students will get priority status when applying to graduate programs in the biomedical sciences at Brown. Two students from the Mount have already been accepted and one is awaiting a decision as of this spring, says Dr. Rollins.

Dr. Andrew Campbell of Brown has also submitted a T36 grant, also from NIH, which involves a collaborative partnership between faculty from the Mount and Brown. Under this arrangement, Dr. Rollins will partner with a prominent reproductive toxicologist from Brown, and the two will submit a research plan.

“If funded, undergraduate students will spend a summer up at Brown doing research on this project,” says Dr. Rollins. The grant is currently being reviewed.

“Both of these programs will help our students succeed in the sciences, opening doors to the exciting world of biomedical research,” says Dr. Rollins.

Dr. Alfred D’Anca, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, said students who apply to programs at St. John’s need a 3.5 GPA in sociology and an overall 3.0 G.P.A.

“They apply to St. John’s in the second semester of their sophomore year at the Mount,” he says.

“On being accepted, they can start taking master’s level courses in their junior year. When they graduate from the Mount, they already have earned 12 graduate credits.”

So far, two juniors are enrolled in the program, with a Mount sophomore set to apply and several freshmen on track to begin studies that will eventually lead to earning both a bachelor’s from the Mount and a master’s from St. John’s, he says.

Dr. D’Anca says cooperation between the Mount and St. John’s is a natural fit because both schools have a Vincentian tradition.

Provost Guy Lometti says a combined bachelor’s and M.S.W. program in cooperation with Fordham University is currently awaiting approval by the state.

Another new cooperative agreement program is the doctor of pharmacy in conjunction with St. Joseph’s University, says Professor of Biology and Director of the Division of Natural Sciences Dr. Patricia Grove ’74.

“I think it’s a wonderful program for our students in the biology major and also in the biochemistry major,” she says. “One student is currently at St. Joseph’s, and she’s doing very well.”

According to Dr. Lometti, the Mount’s cooperative programs leading to advanced degrees allow students to save time and money, while also building their body of knowledge and professional credentials.