Ocean County College became the first school to establish a so-called 2+2 program with the United States Sports Academy.

The program allows the community college in Toms River, N.J., to prepare its students after two years of study to attend the Academy and earn a bachelor’s in sports management.

Michael Klecan, who earned his master’s in sports medicine in 1994 from the Academy, says he’s excited about the new partnership for Ocean County students. Klecan, a professor and head athletic trainer at the community college, helped spearhead the creation of the 2+2 program with the Academy—a leader in sports education for 40 years.

“By developing programs, such as the 2+2 with the Academy, our college is able to help students progress in their education,” Klecan says. “This progress eventually will help lead them to employment in a field they enjoy.”

Ocean County is promoting enrollment in the Academy’s 2+2 program in several ways, including highlighting it in college publications, meeting with local high school guidance counselors, establishing an internship with the Philadelphia Phillies Class A team, forming a sport management advisory committee and announcing the program on its website.

The Academy, known as America’s Sports University, is currently working with two other community colleges to set up 2+2 programs that provide students the opportunity to continue their education seamlessly in the university’s unique upper-division bachelor’s program. Currently, students with 36 to 90 semester credits can transfer into the Academy and earn their bachelor’s degree.

The Academy also has more than 50 articulation agreements in place with community colleges from coast to coast.

Betsy Smith, the Academy’s director of academic administration and continuing education, worked with Ocean County and hopes to set up more 2+2 programs.

“It’s our goal to develop more programs like this because of the benefit to the students with a seamless transfer to their four-year degree,” she says.

Click through to learn more about the Academy’s 2+2 program with community colleges. Also you can download a PDF, which explains the 2+2 program and coursework with Ocean County College