Community College Transfer Pathways Makes Credit Transfer Easier

Virginia Commonwealth University is expanding guaranteed admission agreements with Virginia’s Community Colleges that will provide more services and make the transition to the four-year university even easier for community college students.

The new agreement extends an existing guaranteed admission agreement signed in 2006 and updated in 2009 between VCU and the VCCS, and gives students the opportunity to feel more a part of the university at an earlier time – by providing access to the library, ability to meet with transfer advisors and participate in school-related events, a VCU email account, and discount admission to VCU sports and cultural events.

“This is an important partnership that expands access for students across the state to begin their academic work at a Virginia community college and graduate from a dynamic research university,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “The agreement reflects VCU’s collaboration with Virginia’s Community Colleges to provide students with increased opportunities for success.”

“This agreement bolsters the growing reputation of Virginia’s Community Colleges as an on-ramp to a baccalaureate degree,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “With partners like VCU, we are eliminating red tape and giving individuals and families incredible tools to navigate and customize their pursuit of higher education to meet their needs. It’s a win for those individuals. It’s a win for our respective institutions and it’s a win for the entire commonwealth.

The new agreement, which is effective fall 2011, guarantees that students who complete a General Education certificate at a Virginia Community College with a 2.5 grade point average and who meet other eligibility requirements will be admitted to VCU and will have met the college’s core requirements of the undergraduate curriculum. Depending on the major or department, it is possible there would be additional requirements.

“Transfer pathways” have been created in a number of subject areas that lead from a major at a Virginia Community College directly into a major at VCU.

The transfer pathways and the general education certificate will help community college students target their course work even more closely to the core courses that will transfer and meet undergraduate requirements at VCU.

The student services components mean students will become a part of university life even before they transfer. The original agreement also provides scholarships to support community college students transferring to VCU.

VCU was among the first universities to sign a system-wide guaranteed admission agreement with Virginia’s Community Colleges, ensuring admission for eligible students from any of the 23 community colleges. More than 25 system wide agreements have been signed with public and private four-year universities since then.