Montgomery County Community College recently signed an agreement with Gwynedd Mercy University to provide housing for MCCC students.
Through the agreement, MCCC students can select to live on campus at Gwynedd Mercy for the same room and board rates that University students pay. MCCC is less than four miles from the University, located on Sumneytown Pike in Gwynedd Valley, Pa.
According to Philip Needles, vice president for student services at MCCC, the College receives inquiries each year, especially from international students and culinary arts students, about the availability of student housing.
“I think this a winning partnership for both MCCC and Gwynedd Mercy University, and a great example of how local institutions can work together to address students' needs," Needles said.
Danielle Gross, director of public affairs for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community College, said she believes the agreement is unique in the Commonwealth. "Articulation agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions are common, but we don't know of any other such agreement related to student housing," Gross said.
Currently, the College serves 178 international students from 51 different countries, especially in programs such as culinary arts and business. International students who have enrolled at MCCC in the past have had to seek off-campus housing in the area which can be cost prohibitive.
The College hopes to increase enrollment by providing student housing at Gwynedd Mercy University, but the housing option will be open to all students who choose to experience that aspect of college life.
Gwynedd Mercy University sees the agreement as an opportunity to further strengthen its relationship with MCCC and attract more transfer students from the local two-year college with which it has an articulation agreement. The housing agreement will also provide an additional revenue stream for the University. The cost of room and board at Gwynedd Mercy ranges from $5,570 per semester for housing and a 10-meal plan to $6,270 per semester for a 19-meal plan for the 2017-18 academic year.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to offer Montgomery County Community College students an affordable and convenient way to experience all the benefits of living on a college campus," said Cheryl Lynn Horsey, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment and student services at Gwynedd Mercy University. "Students who choose to take advantage of this option will have access to all the
co-curricular programming offered to GMercyU students, including on-campus events, service opportunities, and our very popular and growing intramural sports and recreation program."
The agreement also provides MCCC students with an excellent path forward to any number of baccalaureate degrees offered at Gwynedd Mercy University, Horsey added. "Essentially, students can live on campus all four years, spending their first two years taking classes at MCCC and the next two years taking classes at GMercyU."