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August 13, 2018

Worcester State, Nichols form counter-terrorism degree agreement

Courtesy/Lorraine U. Martinelle The Nichols College campus in Dudley.

Worcester State University criminal justice majors will be able to get a master's degree in counter-terrorism a year ahead of time under a new agreement between the school and Nichols College in Dudley.

Under the agreement set to be formally announced by the schools on Tuesday, Worcester State students will begin completing coursework at Nichols while still undergraduates at Worcester State. Those six semester-hours of courses will set students on an accelerated track toward earning a master's degree in counter-terrorism after five years of college, not six.

Nichols said its counter-terrorism graduate program is the first in the country, with a focus on violent extremism and the psychological, social, political, economic and religious factors contributing to radicalization. Students learn how to assess and address terrorism risks.

Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer and Worcester State University President Barry Maloney will announce the new program on Tuesday with other officials from the two schools.

The program is the latest among Central Massachusetts colleges meant to give students a faster track toward a degree. Both Worcester State and Framingham State University have signed agreements this year with the UMass School of Law allowing students to get their bachelor's and law degrees in six years. Becker College in Worcester and Fitchburg State University previously signed similar agreements.

Framingham State has partnered with Assumption College in Worcester and Newbury College in Brookline to give students in biotechnology and English an option to earn a graduate degree just one year after getting their bachelor's degree.

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