Three students from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, began an exchange with Western New Mexico University last week. Undergraduates Rebeca Portillo Parra, Rita Paulina Escalante Alegría and Ivanna María Chavarría Martínez will spend three semesters studying marketing in the WNMU School of Business in order to earn double degrees—one from each institution.
WNMU School of Business offers dual degrees and student exchange programs as a result of signed memorandums of understanding with four partner universities, including:
-University of Sonora,
-University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez,
-Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, and
-Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Puebla.
Collaborating with foreign universities to offer dual degree programs is an enormous effort that faculty initiate and ultimately undertake for the benefit of participants. “These conversations take long hours of additional planning and curriculum equivalency negotiations,” said Dr. Miguel A. Vicéns, who is Associate Dean of the WNMU School of Business.
The agreement WNMU School of Business holds with University of Sonora was established two years ago and allows students to complete a marketing degree at University of Sonora along with a management or a marketing degree at WNMU. Students can choose between the two business focuses at WNMU, which guarantees participants in state tuition.
As a result of this MOU in particular, WNMU graduated four students last year—all of which obtained dual degrees.
So far, there have been no participants in the other program established with this MOU: a dual degree in international business from University of Sonora and in management from WNMU).
The program has economic support from the Institute of Scholarships and Educational Credit and the University of Sonora in equal parts, and is made more accessible by a special WNMU tuition rate, as established in the 2019 agreement.
In order to participate, students must score above 550 points in the TOEFL, be admitted to WNMU, and acquire a student visa.
Participating in the special double degree mobility program enables students to learn and earn credentials from an accredited American university, but the experience will also foster personal growth as students also learn about other cultures and ways of thinking. Plus, earning a double degree will provide graduates with increased career potential and, as a result, better economic opportunities.