by Alexa Haverlah, Content Marketing Intern, ACC Teaching & Learning Excellence Division
Austin Community College District (ACC) continues its work to make the transfer process from ACC to a four-year university smooth and seamless. The college has articulation agreements with more than 60 universities, including The University of Texas, Texas State University, St. Edward’s University, and Texas A&M University. Our experts explore how these agreements help students successfully transfer with their credits in tow.
Location is no longer the deciding factor in transfer decisions
Historically, students take their first classes at community college, maybe obtain their associate degree, before physically moving potentially miles away to their university’s campus.
“That’s not even the norm anymore because of online offerings and satellite campuses,” says Dr. MaryJane McReynolds, Director of Articulation & University Relations. “Transfer is about moving to the upper-division bachelor’s degree required courses and the physical location is no longer the defining characteristic that it used to be.”
The changing nature of transfer will benefit ACC students who are place-bound in Austin or Central Texas due to work or family commitments. Students no longer need to uproot their lives or abandon their other responsibilities to improve their career opportunities.
Bachelor’s degrees are the new associate degrees
Recent data shows that in the near future, an associate degree might no longer be economically feasible. According to the Texas Higher Education plan, by the year 2025, Texans will need at least a bachelor’s degree to be able to earn a living wage.
ACC’s own Academic Master Plan ties educational attainment to economic mobility, transfer partnerships to bachelor-granting institutions. It aims to provide accessible, equitable, and affordable educational opportunities that not only save students time and money while working toward their bachelor’s degree completion but allow them to make a living with their degree.
“Faculty need to communicate to students that there are options beyond an associate degree, beyond ACC, and involve the transfer process,” says McReynolds. “Faculty are in a unique position to talk to students early on about transfer because of the amount of time and contact they have with them.”
Faculty are at the core of articulation
Faculty are also at the core of maintaining ACC’s positive working relationships with partner institutions. Each year, the Office of Articulation & University Relations hosts Faculty Conversations. It allows academic leaders to compare ACC degree plans with those at partner other institutions.
The goal is for faculty to be able to call or email each other when questions arise related to a transfer student’s academic credentials, degree requirements, or course applicability.
If You Love Something, Let it Grow
ACC is responsible for providing students with the necessary foundation to thrive in the university environment and bloom in the professional world.
“Community college students have already proven they can complete a program,” says McReynolds. “They’re going to persist to complete their bachelor’s degree, too. Universities want students who are going to be successful, not leave school after one semester. Community college students have demonstrated their ability to persist and achieve their goals.”
For students wanting to successfully transfer, the college’s Transfer Resources Department offers a chat feature for quick questions, workshops, one-on-one appointments, and interactive sessions.
For more information, visit austincc.edu/transfer.