Alcorn, Mississippi State partner in poultry science

Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University have partnered to launch a dual degree program. 

Alcorn Interim President Dr. Donzell Lee and MSU President Dr. Mark E. Keenum signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the program that will allow students to earn bachelor’s degrees from both universities Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning in Jackson, Mississippi.

With this new program, Alcorn students can complete 91 hours toward a Bachelor of Science in agriculture science with a focus in animal science. Students can then transfer to Mississippi State to complete the remaining 31 hours in coursework for a Bachelor of Science in poultry science at MSU.

Upon completion of the MSU coursework, students will graduate from both institutions with two bachelor’s degrees. 

Lee said this partnership is a great opportunity for both institutions.

“I am delighted about the partnership,” Lee said. “Working together, ASU and MSU will have a great impact on one of the largest industries in the state by creating a pipeline of competent individuals who can jump right into leadership positions.” 

Keenum said the new program would provide a range of benefits for both students and the poultry industry, the state’s largest agricultural enterprise topping $3 billion in value last year alone. 

“This is an opportunity for two leading land-grant institutions to work together to prepare even more professionals and leaders for one of our state’s most important industries,” Keenum said. “Mississippi State offers one of only six poultry science programs in the nation, and our graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate, with many of them considering multiple offers.”

Marketing the program at Alcorn is the first step for program administrators this spring, and the colleges hope to start gaining students to the program by fall 2019. Students in the dual degree program will apply to MSU as transfer students and meet admission requirements. A component of the MSU curriculum includes an internship at a poultry processing plant during the summer.