Many community college
students enter into their first year of higher education without a specifically clear career pathway
. In such cases, many students approach their impending graduation date only to realize that their decided career choice actually requires additional education and certifications
from a four year university.
In such cases, many community college students can take advantage of roll-over opportunities, where cooperating universities accept community college coursework as transfer credit. By transferring credits
, students are able to save money and time, and they can often graduate from their chosen university with far greater efficiency.
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics
, nearly 71 percent of community college students intend to, at some point, pursue a baccalaureate degree. Adding to their data, studies from the Center reveal that approximately 20 to 50 percent of new university students are actually transfer students from community college.
As a rising number of students are both interested, and often required, to pursue longer courses of study, many community colleges and universities are striving to create more streamlined transfer programs to provide students with enhanced support.
Seeking Cooperating Institutions
When looking into transferring community college credits, experts assert that the earlier a student can make plans and arrangements, the better his or her transition may be. As eCampusTours supports, “By choosing a transfer school as early as possible, you will save a lot of time and effort because you will know in advance which courses will transfer to your selected school.”
When students begin to choose from the many potential transfer schools, students should seek out accessible cooperating universities. One of the many ways in which higher education institutions have created stronger transition programs is through the recent establishment of cooperating relationships, also known as articulation agreements. As eCampusTours reveals, “When choosing a transfer school, check to see which schools have articulation agreements. Articulation agreements provide specific transfer policies that make it easier to transfer from one school to another. Be sure to visit schools and take virtual tours of campuses to help you pick a four-year school.”
For example, as the University of Arizona’s “Transfer Guides” reveal, any student attending Arizona Community College is provided with additional transfer support if they choose to continue their education at the University of Arizona, Arizona State, or Northern Arizona University. As the University reveals, the transfer guides “Present the lower-division requirements of bachelor’s degree programs at The University of Arizona in terms of the transferable courses available at an Arizona community college, numbered in the community college notation… These transfer guides are designed to assist students who have selected the course of study they plan to follow at The University of Arizona. It will enable transferring students to identify those courses appropriate to the academic program they plan to pursue.”
As explicated through the Arizona Universities and Arizona Community College, many schools have created specific programs and guides to help students more effectively transfer their earned credits to an on-going program. To find out about cooperating schools, students should begin by meeting with their community college counselor
Meet with an Array of Experts
Once a student becomes aware of any participating cooperating universities, students should not limit their communication and interactions with their community college advisor alone. When choosing a transfer university, it is imperative that students meet with the university advisors as well.
Specifically, most universities have specialty advisors that solely focus on transfer issues. As eCampusTours further asserts, “Because not all universities and colleges accept the same courses for transfer, it is critical that you work with a transfer advisor at your community college as well as one at the school to which you want to transfer. These advisors will help you map out courses to meet graduation requirements at your community college and transfer requirements for your chosen four-year institution.”
Adding to this, the university advisors can also review an interested student’s records and transcripts, offering insight as to whether or not the student would be admitted to the university if an application was to be filed. Many universities require an array of application requirements, which often include the proof of a specific grade point average, a student’s engagement in extra-curricular activities, and so forth.
As tuition costs, among nearly all educational institutions, are on the rise, students interested in transferring must also be aware of the increased costs of a four year university
. If facing a tight budget, community college students should also look into four year programs that are available online. These online course
pathways are often more convenient, and also more affordable.
As Regis University
articulates, “Regis has streamlined the process for adults who wish to transfer their community college degree or coursework into a four-year degree. Through our generous transfer policy and accelerated course formats, making the transition is easier than ever.” For example, Regis allows students to earn a baccalaureate degree online after a student has successfully earned his or her associates degree. In many cases, students with an associate’s degree can simply earn their additional advanced degree with just 30 credits. “This approach allows students to receive a degree from a prestigious private university at an investment equivalent to or less than that of a state college.”
By understanding articulation agreements and meeting both with your community college and ideal four-year university advisors, you can be well on your way to transferring your credits and working towards a Bachelor’s degree.