TEXARKANA, Texas — A new partnership will pave the way for employees of a local bank to advance their education.
Texas A&M University-Texarkana and Red River Credit Union formalized the arrangement by signing a memorandum of understanding Wednesday at the university.
“We are thrilled to enter into this innovative partnership with our friends at Red River Credit Union,” A&M-Texarkana President Dr. Ross Alexander said in a news release. “As a university, we are committed to providing educational solutions and pathways for hard-working employees at our partner firms who can pursue flexible, reputable and affordable online degrees while working full time.”
Alexander approached the credit union about forming the partnership, university Communications Manager John Bunch said to the Gazette.
Brad Bailey, Red River president and CEO, said the credit union is eager to work with the university.
“The opportunity to partner with TAMUT in an affordable college education for our valued employees and to assist in financial education for its students and staff is truly an honor,” Bailey said in the release.
Under the terms of the agreement, the academic application fee is waived for all full-time employees of the credit union. They also will receive a 25% tuition discount on all undergraduate, graduate, certificate or micro-credential programs delivered in-person, online, or through a hybrid format.
Additionally, any eligible employee who is a new A&M-Texarkana student will receive the First Flight Scholarship. The scholarship makes the student’s first class free, provided he or she is enrolled in at least six hours of undergraduate or graduate courses.
Felicia Drake, chief human resources officer at RRCU, said the credit union has a number of employees who are A&M-Texarkana alumni. She said the partnership will foster employee growth and development.
“The discount will be a generous perk that we will add to our current benefit package to retain and recruit top talent in the communities we serve,” Drake said in the release.
Bunch said community partnerships are a mission for Alexander, who was hired as university president in July to succeed Dr. Emily Cutrer. He came to Texarkana from the University of North Alabama, where he had served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
“These partnerships were an integral part of the growth of his previous institution, and we expect they will be here as well,” Bunch said.
Bunch said the university will announce another partnership later this week.
Red River Credit Union is A&M-Texarkana’s seventh partner. The others are Texarkana Arkansas School District; Liberty-Eylau, Pleasant Grove and Texarkana independent school districts; Texarkana College; and the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana.
“I’m aware of several others that are at varying stages in the process,” said Bunch of the partnerships, citing “positive feedback” on the initiative.
For more information, visit TAMUT.edu/partnerships.