AU, LBWCC ink deal for future horticulture students

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By Mary Catherine Gaston

From the Andalusia Star News

Students attending LBWCC with plans to transfer to Auburn after earning their associate degree now have a clearer track to get there.

On Monday, officials from LBWCC and Auburn University signed a transfer agreement for the Department of Horticulture.

LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel championed the agreement as a good day for LBWCC and Auburn.

Red Level native Dr. Wheeler Foshee, who is an associate professor in the department, was vital in helping get the agreement together, Riedel said.

“This agreement means a lot to LBW,” Riedel said. “We have a lot of students who transfer to Auburn.”

Riedel said there are approximately 1,700 students enrolled at LBWCC and two-thirds of them will transfer to a four-year institution.

“Our students transfer to every public and private institution,” he said.

Riedel said there are many ties to the agriculture in the community.

Currently, LBWCC has one agriculture program – forestry.

With the new transfer agreement, he said that it will make the transition easier for LBWCC students wishing to do more with agriculture.

“The agreement will make it easier for Auburn to recruit our students and our students will now have a more defined pathway,” he said.

Through the agreement, students will follow the STARS guidelines to have their credits transfer to Auburn and they must meet the transfer admissions requirements to the university.

If they meet both of those criteria, they will be guaranteed admission to the AU horticulture program.

Additionally, Auburn will work with LBWCC to develop an introductory course that will be a required course for admissions called Introduction to Horticulture.

Riedel said they hope to have the program ready to go by fall semester 2017.

Dr. Amy Wright, interim associate dean for instruction in the department of horticulture said they were enthused about the agreement.

“We are excited to have students from LBW join our college,” she said. “We are committed to the success of the students.”

Wright said that last year some $800,000 in scholarships was given from the college of agriculture.

She said the department has mentoring programs and internships. And students receive internships and jobs and sometimes both.

Wright told those gathered that there are four tracks for a bachelor of science degree in horticulture, including landscape horticulture, pre-landscape architecture, nursery and greenhouse science, and fruit and vegetable production.

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