SPSCC business student becomes first Otago Polytechnic transfer student

Thursday, December 17, 2015

*First student to take advantage of international transfer agreement
*Agreement allows for one-year degree completion plus scholarship support


South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) business student Shakti Runnels is the first SPSCC student to be accepted into the Bachelor of Applied Management program at Otago Polytechnic (OP) in New Zealand. Thanks to a 2014 International Articulation Agreement between SPSCC and OP, Runnels will be able to complete her degree with just one year of additional study at the school’s Auckland campus.

Runnels, a 21-year-old Yelm High School alumna, saw the direct transfer agreement as an opportunity to both study abroad and begin a new chapter in her life.

“I wanted to go to school in a different country and learn in a different way,” she said. “I want to be taught in a different way. I want to be able to do that and teach myself how to adapt to different situations.”

Under the articulation agreement, which was officially signed in February 2014, students who receive an Associate in Applied Science Business Administration degree may be eligible to finish their B.A.M. degree with just one additional year of study and are also eligible to receive scholarship funding from OP. For Runnels, the receipt of one of these scholarships means that her annual tuition at OP will only be around $3,400, based on current exchange rates.

“It’s a great, great deal,” said SPSCC Anthropology Professor Patrick Chapman, who leads several short-term Study Abroad trips and played a key role in developing the agreement. “It’s really nice to have. Students now have these possibilities.”

Runnels said she’s looking forward to taking advantage of those possibilities by meeting new people and getting new experiences. She will focus her studies on business administration, with a goal of promoting sustainable business practices.

“You can make a profit and be ethical at the same time,” she said.

SPSCC provides numerous short- and long-term opportunities for students to Study Abroad in countries all over the world. More information about SPSCC’s Study Abroad programs is available online at spscc.edu/studyabroad.