LBW, Auburn sign ‘Path to Plains’ MOU agreement

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Auburn University signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, or LBWCC, on Thursday, Dec. 15. The MOU formalized a partnership to expand Auburn’s Path to the Plains program, extending the institution’s pathway program to students across LBWCC’s four sites. 

Open to first-year Alabama resident students, Path to the Plains provides both discipline-specific and exploratory pathways for students who have a goal of transferring to Auburn. In addition to reinforcing both institutions’ commitment to access and affordability, the program allows students to enroll at LBWCC for up to two years while they complete courses at both institutions at the LBWCC tuition rate.

At the signing, Auburn President Christopher B. Roberts was joined by LBWCC President Brock Kelley. As each president provided their signatures to the agreement, both cited the importance of the collaboration to increased higher education attainment and economic development across Alabama.

“We are excited to expand this program to students at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and create viable pathways for students to achieve success and ultimately earn a degree from Auburn,” Roberts said. “Through Path to the Plains, we are empowering students to take advantage of the academic resources at both institutions by completing affordable courses and utilizing available programs and services.”

With traditional disciplinary paths as well as an exploratory pathway that emphasizes diverse career options, students gain exposure to Auburn coursework and academic programs while conducting self and career research. Through a strategic connection to faculty, staff and working professionals in areas that engage their interests, students are better connected to Auburn’s campus through required coursework while accessing academic resources and advising at both institutions.

“With the addition of this partnership, the goal of providing resources to remove financial and academic barriers becomes a reality,” said Kelley. “The agreement allows our students wanting to earn a bachelor’s degree from Auburn — but needing the benefits of a community college — to simultaneously enroll in both institutions, resulting in program-directed advising from both LBW and Auburn. I believe the program offers a clear and precise pathway to educational success, and we are thrilled to develop this partnership. We hope to continue to build pathways with Auburn University.”

Opened this year, the exploratory option offers academic and career advisors who provide intensive and personalized support through two directed courses taken at Auburn. By alleviating the pressure many students feel to declare a major before starting college, the exploratory option offers students the opportunity to select a program without the financial burden of changing majors and other challenges frequently experienced by students.

Established in 2019, Path to the Plains has provided an affordable pathway for students with the demonstrated potential for academic success who aspire to transfer to Auburn after completing coursework at a partner institution. In addition to early exposure to Auburn courses in their majors and fully mapped curriculum plans, students are eligible for automatic admission to Auburn. More than 100 students have participated in the program since 2019.

LBW Community College provides affordable academic, technical, and workforce programs with multiple class formats and flexible scheduling at 4 locations. LBW is an open-admission, community-based college dedicated to providing affordable, high-quality, and accessible education to individuals in a five-county service area. The College offers dual enrollment, technical training, 2-to-4-year transfer, adult education, and community education that prepares students for Alabama’s growing workforce.

For more information about Path to the Plains, contact path@auburn.edu.