Aspiring artists attending Chemeketa Community College will have an easier time earning a four-year degree.

The college announced last week it had entered an agreement with the Portland-based Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) allowing Chemeketa students admitted to the art school to earn guaranteed scholarships and credit transfer, according to a news release.

Chemeketa students who complete a two-year program at the community college and earn admission to PNCA will enter as juniors and earn $22,000 in scholarships per year for up to three years, the release said.

“Chemeketa transfer agreements with Oregon colleges and universities are essential for smoothing out our students' pathways to their educational and career goals. This agreement with Pacific Northwest College of Art provides our art majors a guaranteed pathway in terms of credit and a scholarship to help with the financial requirements," said Don Brase, Chemeketa's executive dean of general education and transfer studies, in a statement.

PNCA merged with Willamette University this summer, becoming the fourth college within the private Salem-based university. The art college will maintain its own admissions process and campus in Portland, but the merger was intended to allow more opportunities for Willamette students to study studio art, and expand the range of courses available to art students.

Chemeketa students interested in transferring to PNCA should contact art instructor Laura Mack at [email protected]