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By Kathy Barnard, University Communications

PULLMAN, Wash. – Officials from Bellevue College and Washington State University have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing further discussions about a possible partnership.

With the signing, BC and WSU are able to discuss details a partnership might entail, including benefits to students, accreditation and governance issues, financial implications and requirements to move a partnership through the Washington Legislature.

“It is imperative to us that if this partnership moves forward, our mission will not change – only expand,” said David Rule, BC president. “As the community’s college, we will continue to offer an excellent and affordable education to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.

“In signing the MOU,” he said, “we’re recognizing the increased capabilities for our respective institutions that we would like to further explore.”

WSU Vice President David Cillay agreed.

“We’re excited by the proposition of discussing the improved educational opportunities for the citizens of Washington that come with this intriguing partnership,” he said. “Both of our institutions share the common goal of offering students more options as they seek a top quality education.”

As outlined in the memorandum, and if the institutions reach consensus, Bellevue College would become Washington State University-Bellevue College (WSU-Bellevue College), would continue to offer its array of two-year degrees and would augment its four-year degree offerings over time.

More information on the possible partnership, including the MOU, can be found at http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/wsu/.