Saint Martin’s degree-completion partnership with Centralia College is renewed

April 22, 2013

centraliacollegepartnership LACEY, Wash. – A partnership that authorizes Saint Martin’s University to offer baccalaureate degree programs to Centralia College students while they remain on the Centralia campus was officially renewed at a recent signing ceremony attended by the presidents of both institutions.

The agreement provides a distinct advantage to Centralia students who want to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree from a quality institution without having to leave their own home campus, according to Cruz Arroyo, director of Extended Learning Campuses for Saint Martin’s University. “Students in the criminal justice, education and accounting programs spend the first two years as Centralia College students and pay Centralia College tuition,” he explains. “They then finish out the final two years as Saint Martin’s University students but continue to take courses on the Centralia College campus, saving on travel costs and time.”

“This partnership expands opportunities for students seeking a Saint Martin’s education,’” says Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., president of Saint Martin’s University, who along with Centralia College President James Walton, Ph.D., placed his signature on the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the renewed partnership at a ceremony held on the Centralia campus late last week. “By providing instructors, course design and support to students on the Centralia campus, Saint Martin’s affirms its commitment to the strong relationship our schools have enjoyed for more than a decade.”

Currently, Centralia students have the option of pursuing bachelor’s degrees from Saint Martin’s University in elementary education and criminal justice. A third baccalaureate degree in accounting will be available to Centralia students this fall. Under the partnership agreement between the two institutions, Centralia College provides facilities and technological and student support, and Saint Martin’s is responsible for offering upper-division and graduate courses, leading to the completion of the bachelor’s degrees. The agreement also includes a teacher certification-only program and added endorsements for current teachers in elementary and middle-level education, plus others.

“Saint Martin’s is noted for its ability to transform students into graduates who are successful in the marketplace,” says Joyce Westgard, Ed.D., who penned the partnership MOU and is the associate vice president of institutional effectiveness and dean of the College of Education and Professional Psychology at Saint Martin’s University. “By serving this broader population through Centralia College, Saint Martin’s strengthens its support of the regional community and helps increase employment opportunities for Lewis County residents.”

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Joyce Westgard, Ed.D
Associate Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness
Saint Martin’s University

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager