Colin McConnell/torstar news service


Music legend Quincy Jones is one of the many famous graduates of Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

Music graduates from Mohawk College are now able to jump straight into the middle of a university degree under a new agreement with Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.

In the latest of a series of such agreements for Mohawk, the Hamilton college and its new partner in Boston have arranged for Mohawk students who finish their three-year diplomas in Hamilton to get 60 units’ credit toward a 120-unit, four-year degree from Berklee.

Mohawk graduate Eric Thachuk, 22, is studying there now, with two former Mohawk classmates expected to join him in January.

Thachuk, a bass player, entered Berklee at the third-year level, shaving two years worth of time and tuition off his university education. He is one of 400 bass players studying at Berklee, and said his Mohawk foundations made the transition comfortable.

Berklee is the world’s largest independent music college, with 3,800 students and 460 faculty. Its famous graduates include Quincy Jones, Bruce Cockburn and Melissa Etheridge.

“It’s an amazing school,” said Mohawk music professor Darcy Hepner, a former Berklee instructor who initiated the arrangement between the schools. “It’s an incredible musical environment, and it’s attached to the rest of the world. It’s an amazing networking place.”

The new agreement makes Berklee the 12th post-secondary institution to team up with Mohawk as it expands such partnerships across Ontario, Canada and beyond.

Formally called “articulation agreements,” the partnerships allow college graduates to transfer some credits, reducing duplication and saving students time and money as they complete related university degrees.

Because most students want to study locally, the majority complete their degrees under arrangements with McMaster, Brock and Laurier universities. The flow also goes the other way, with an increasing number of university graduates later adding college credentials to their degrees, said Mohawk’s Linda Basso, who is responsible for articulation agreements.