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2011 News Releases

Longwood enters into Marine Corps partnership program

May 3, 2011

Longwood President Patrick Finnegan (left) and Marine Maj. Gen. Carl Jensen signed an agreement signifying Longwood’s entrance into a Marine higher education partnership program.
Longwood President Patrick Finnegan (left) and Marine Maj. Gen. Carl Jensen signed an agreement signifying Longwood’s entrance into a Marine higher education partnership program.

Longwood University has entered into a Marine Corps partnership program that helps qualified Marines earn an undergraduate degree after leaving active duty or retiring.

A memorandum of understanding between Longwood and Marine Corps Installations East (MCI East) for the Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) was signed May 2 at Longwood by Longwood President Patrick Finnegan and Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, commanding general of MCI East. This nationwide program is designed to "streamline the admissions process for eligible Marines" by "facilitating the review of selected candidates' applications," according to the agreement. Applicants must meet certain Longwood and Marine Corps criteria. The requirements for admissions are determined by each college or university and vary by institution.

"We stress leadership at Longwood University, and the Leadership Scholar Program will certainly support these efforts," Finnegan, a retired Army brigadier general, said during the signing ceremony. "This partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps will provide an opportunity for military personnel to translate real-world experience into what they are learning in the classroom."

"This is a win-win for everyone, and we are very pleased to have Longwood onboard with the Leadership Program," Jensen said. "We now have partnerships with 136 institutions nationwide."

To participate, one must be an active duty, reserve or veteran Marine who is planning to attend a school as a freshman or transfer student. Active duty Marines must be honorably discharged before the beginning of the school semester. Participants must be a high school graduate and have a minimum combined score of 70 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and a General Technical score of 115 or higher.

The program at Longwood and other schools that fall under MCI East, which includes Virginia, will be run by David Schock, LSP regional school liaison. Schock attended the signing ceremony. Also that day, Jensen signed agreements for the LSP at Virginia Tech and James Madison University. Old Dominion University joined the program this year, and officials at George Mason University have been in discussion with MCI East, said Schock, who works out of Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, N.C., where MCI East is headquartered.

"The biggest advantage in this program is that each Marine has a direct line of communications with these admissions offices," said Beth Morgan, director of Higher Education Initiatives for Marine Corps Community Services, who manages the program nationwide.

The LSP, originally called the Special Admissions Program, was launched by Marine Corps Installations West with the California State University system. MCI East then launched its own program, called Elite to Elite Academic Mission, and eventually the programs were merged into one nationwide program.