WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — A huge partnership was just formed Tuesday morning between West Liberty University and Pittsburgh Technical College.

Students from Pittsburgh Technical College can now receive their Masters of Business Administration in near half the time when they then jump to West Liberty for graduate school.

West Liberty President Dr. W. Franklin Evans says this is the first partnership of its kind under his administration.

In order for us to reach our goals of boosting our enrollment, graduate education is the key. And we’re going to have to reach outside of West Virginia to recruit students.

So, why not go in our backyard, Pittsburgh, to find those students?

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President of West Liberty University

Dr. Evans says his connection to Pittsburgh Tech’s President Dr. Alicia Harvey-Smith was the initial light-bulb moment for this monumental partnership, but both institutions say it grew into a huge step.

This really accelerates and streamlines the process. Our bachelor’s degree is a three year program.

So, they can have their master’s degree in what normally would take the time to obtain their bachelor’s degree.

Dr. Eileen Steffan, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Pittsburgh Technical College

The step taken by both schools is what leaders say will pioneer the future for connections for the students, but also expedite graduates into the workforce.

Dr. Steffan believes this Fast Track MBA will become a reason why students will attend PTC with a West Liberty master’s degree in mind.

Dr. Evans says this signing Tuesday might be the sign of other partnerships down the road.