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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Signs First Master's Degree Articulation Agreement; Pact with California University of Pennsylvania Helps Legal Studies Graduates Further Education

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University President William C. Merwin recently signed an articulation agreement with officials from California University of Pennsylvania that facilitates the admission and transition of FGCU graduates who hold a Bachelor of Science in legal studies into the CUP Master of Science in legal studies program.

Distinct from FGCU's current legal studies agreements with nine Florida community colleges that spur transition from an Associate of Science program to the FGCU BS program, the landmark FGCU-CUP agreement furthers opportunities for students to continue their education by creating a smooth transition from the FGCU BS program to the CUP MS program.

In addition, the agreement is with an out-of-state school for the first time. Though CUP offers its MS in legal studies fully online for the convenience of students as far away as Florida, it is physically located in California, Pa., with satellite campuses in Canonsburg and Pittsburgh.

The agreement stipulates that CUP will accept FGCU legal studies students into its online master's program in legal studies and CUP will also accept FGCU courses for advanced standing for legal studies students.

"This is most likely a first in American legal education," legal studies program coordinator Bob Diotalevi said.

"Through the efforts of both institutions a student, for example, at Florida Keys Community College, will be able to earn the AS, BS and MS wholly online via state-of-the-art technology. There is also a web-based law school, Concord Law School, if the student so chooses to pursue a Juris Doctorate in law."

California University of Pennsylvania () is one of 14 state-owned institutions of higher learning in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education. The state of Pennsylvania began CUP as an academy more than 150 years ago.

"Partnerships, strategic alliances and joint ventures make perfect sense in the academic community as in the business community," CUP graduate legal studies director Charles P. Nemeth said. "Making programs available to a larger community of potential scholar-students is what university education is all about. We are proud to align ourselves with the Florida State University System and its member Florida Gulf Coast University. We look forward to many years of mutual growth."

The FGCU legal studies program consists of 48 hours of upper division coursework including Florida general education and FGCU requirements for graduation. FGCU designed the program to prepare graduates for advancement in careers in law-related professions, particularly as legal assistants and paralegals.

For more information, contact Diotalevi at (239) 590-7817 or , or visit the FGCU legal studies program Web site at

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