UHV, WCJC sign agreement to speed transition between nursing schools

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Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing, seated right, and Deborah Yancey, director of the WCJC Associate Degree in Nursing program, sign a nursing articulation agreement between the two schools. Standing are, from left, Sandy McNeeley, UHV assistant clinical professor; WCJC nursing students Elva Barron, Samantha Zapalac, Mary Gallant and Paula Salinas; and Lisette Barton, UHV assistant clinical professor.

University of Houston-Victoria and Wharton County Junior College administrators recently signed an agreement that will ease nursing students’ transition between the two schools and encourage them to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

The articulation agreement, the second for UHV in the past four months, creates a roadmap that will encourage students achieving an associate degree in nursing to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UHV. A nursing student who meets eligibility requirements automatically will be admitted into the UHV Registered Nurse to BSN program, which is offered in Victoria, Sugar Land and Katy.

“This is another huge step toward us fulfilling the professional needs of the area and helping students by streamlining the path to continue their educational goals,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “The agreement is a great benefit to the students, and it will help raise the level of professional development throughout the area, as well as strengthen the nursing schools at both institutions.”

Agreements with area community colleges have been a goal for UHV since an October report from the Institute of Medicine made recommendations on the future of nursing. The institute set a goal for 80 percent of Registered Nurses to attain a bachelor’s degree by 2020. Tart said articulation agreements promote seamless academic progressions from community colleges to universities.

Deborah Yancey, WCJC director of the Associate Degree in Nursing program, said she recently held a workshop to go over the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations, and the articulation agreement encourages continued education.

“It helps our students because it gives them a focus from the first day they come into our community college,” she said. “They will have a direct focus on what they need to continue their education.”

Yancey said the agreement lets students know what classes they can take to make a smooth transition to UHV. She said students will have fewer barriers to enter into the university and more access to scholarship money provided through the UHV School of Nursing.

The agreement also strengthens the WCJC program, which she said is an important supplier of nurse professionals to Wharton County and surrounding areas, by increasing opportunities for more education.

“This will let our Registered Nurses advance their professional skills, which benefits the entire area,” she said. “Our students living in rural areas also can advance their degrees without having to leave the areas they call home.”

UHV Interim President Don Smith said he and Tart will continue pursuing agreements with other community colleges.

“It is a part of our mission to encourage continued education of professionals in all areas,” Smith said. “The UHV School of Nursing is answering the call to the nursing industry, and our graduates are fully prepared to work and meet the challenges health care faces today.”

The UHV School of Nursing offers its programs in Victoria and Fort Bend County at the UH System at Sugar Land and the UH System at Cinco Ranch in Katy. Fort Bend County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. For more information, contact Tammy Whatley, senior recruiting coordinator, at 361-570-4297 or 877-970-4848, ext. 4297, email, or visit

WCJC serves Wharton and Fort Bend counties. WCJC also partners to offer programs at the UH System at Sugar Land, including health programs, communications, math and sciences, business, technology and vocational training, as well as adult continuing education programs. Students can contact WCJC at 800-561-WCJC (9252) or visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342