In a nearly nine-minute video posted Wednesday on Mountain State University's website, Interim President Richard Sours says student credit from the university should be valid at other schools.
"Those credits are taken from an accredited3 institution, and they should transfer," Sours said.
He said the university is planning to set up a counseling process for students interested in transferring but has not been able to do that yet.
Students still will have to meet the academic standards required of all UC students, Welch said. While some credits will transfer, that does not necessarily mean a Mountain State University student would be exempt from taking some courses that are part of UC's core curriculum.
The commission's removal of accreditation is set to take effect Aug. 27, but Sours has said the school plans to appeal. While Welch said it appears the university is going to lose its accreditation, he admitted there is a chance the school could win its appeal and remain open.
UC is not trying to steal students, Welch said. If the school does eventually retain its accreditation, a Mountain State University student accepted at UC could be in an awkward situation, he said. But for now UC is trying to provide a private-school option for students thrust into uncertainty.
"The students are in a quasi-panic situation," Welch said. "I understand students who say, 'I don't want to be in an institution where there's doubt.'"
Welch has no goal or quota for Mountain State University transfers. He said the idea for the scholarship came together Wednesday after U.C. officials discussed the situation faced by those students. A mother spoke with Welch Wednesday on campus. She told him she had two relatives attending the university and was afraid for their future.
"If that's what you feel, then we'll help you," Welch said he told her.
Ashley Schumaker, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said she has not heard of similar offer from other universities.
The policy commission is scheduled to host a college advising fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver, Raleigh County. Welch said representatives from UC would be at the fair to speak with students about private-school options.
John Bolt, spokesman for West Virginia University, said representatives from WVU also would be at the fair. There have been limited talks about offers for Mountain State University students, Bolt said. So far, Bolt said WVU would waive the fee to apply to the school, and students who would have been eligible for university scholarships with deadlines already passed will still be eligible.