Partnership is the latest in positive steps for LBW, USA

Published 3:15 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

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A partnership announced last week between LBW Community College and the University of South Alabama is a victory for all involved, especially for students.

Through its Pathway USA program, the Mobile-based university is charting a clear course for two-year college students who seek to continue their education and earn a four-year degree.

LBW is the latest to join the Pathway USA program, joining six other two-year colleges across south Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

The Pathway USA program provides a platform for south Alabama residents seeking higher education resources. LBW students can now work specifically with a transfer advisor at the University of South Alabama, along with their LBW counselor, to support their academic success and learn more about the University of South Alabama’s campus and resources while working toward their associate degree.

For our local community college students, this program provides an opportunity for students to earn an associate degree with the knowledge that they are also working toward a goal of obtaining their four-year degree.

Both LBW and USA are under relatively new leadership and both appear to be moving their institutions in new and exciting directions.

Dr. Brock Kelley was named LBW’s president in October 2020. Since that time, he has led some exciting changes across all of the LBW campuses. Since joining the college, Kelley has developed a strong team of administrators and faculty focusing on strengthening the relationship between students and local career pathways. Chad Sutton, the director of workforce development, has been tapped with developing programs to introduce our next generation through innovative career development programs. There is also a new partnership with Andalusia Health that provides nursing students with on-the-job training. Local residents and students have had even more to cheer as the college has introduced new sports programs with volleyball, and soon, cross country and golf.

At South Alabama, former U.S. Representative Jo Bonner became the university’s fourth president in September of this year. He brings a big vision for the future of USA. Already in his tenure, it was announced that the university will construct a new, state-of-the-art college of medicine. The announcement came on the heels of opening its brand new football stadium. Through initiating programs and partnerships like Pathways USA, Bonner is on the way to achieving his goal of making USA the flagship university of the Gulf Coast.