If you were to ask any admissions counsellor or community college administrator what an articulation agreement is, they wouldn’t hesitate to tell you. Ask any student on a community college campus, however, and you might not get the same response. Articulation agreements exist between many colleges, yet the majority of community college students have no idea what they are.
An articulation agreement is designed to create a seamless transfer experience for students moving from community college to four-year institutions. Not every community college has them, but most do, and they are an invaluable resource for transfer students. Read on to learn more about what an articulation agreement is and how it can benefit you as a community college student.
The Trouble with Transferring
According to the Community College Research Center, roughly 40% of undergraduates in the United States start their higher education at community college. Of those, 80% intend to earn at least a bachelor’s degree and about 20% end up transferring to a four-year college or university.
In the eyes of an incoming community college student, the future is bright and community college is a steppingstone on the path to four-year school. Unfortunately, that path is not as easy to navigate as one would hope. Between the challenges of completing prerequisites and paying for tuition, many students take longer than anticipated to make the transfer, if they make it at all. Even then, the average transfer student loses over 40% of their credits which can set them back even further.
Nearly six million students are enrolled in community college each year, many with the intent of eventually transferring to a traditional four-year university. That transfer is not without challenges, however, as many schools don’t accept all community college credits and transfer acceptance rates remain fairly low. Those who do make the transfer tend to succeed, however, which begs the question why colleges and universities continue to overlook community college students and why more community college students don’t make the transfer.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the statistics for how many community college students move on to four-year colleges and universities. We’ll also explore the data on how well they perform and provide some tips for community college students thinking about making the transfer.
How Many Community College Students Transfer?
As college tuitions costs continue to rise and more families struggle to make ends meet, the number of students who choose to start their college education at community college continues to grow. Community college appeals to many because the tuition is typically more affordable and other costs can be kept low by living at home versus living on campus. Community colleges also offer more flexible scheduling for non-traditional students including single parents and adults returning to school.
According to an article published by the National Student Clearinghouse, about 80% of entering community college students indicate that they want to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, making them likely to transfer to a four-year college at some point. However,
The Reverse Transfer System is Introduced
While transfers to four-year schools provide clear benefits and a subsequent rise in popularity, the assurance of transferring credits from the university level to the local community college creates a more complex array of advantages. This process is a relatively new one that is just beginning to be introduced in college systems nationwide.
According to a report at TwinCities.com, the welcome mat has a history of being extended to transfer students at the University of Minnesota. In 2009, the school accepted 3,260 new transfer students, which made up nearly 40 percent of their new student population overall. However, the university plans to cut the number of transfer students they accept by roughly eight percent over the next two years – which will translate to around 300 transfer students. The university cites various reasons for their decision, including their desire to form a solid, four-year relationship with more students coming to the school. The school has also stated that fluctuating transfer numbers from year to year put a strain on university resources.
This video shares one student's experience at North Hennepin Community College.