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Community Colleges Linking Up To Increase Appeal

Posted on October 11th, 2012 by Jenny Frankel

A new breed of transfer agreements is changing the face of community college education in the United States – a move may have pay positive dividends to prospective international students wondering where to study business in the US.

While traditional community colleges – which by definition offer only two-year associate’s degree programs – have long partnered with larger four-year colleges and universities in order to provide their students with the opportunity to transfer their credit hours and complete a bachelor’s degree, this process has largely been informal at best. As a result, few universities have offered guaranteed admissions for community college students with an associate’s degree, meaning that even students with a solid GPA and the necessary prerequisites face uncertainties when transferring for four-year schools. Without this guarantee, community colleges have long been considered a poor choice for international students.

A recent series of agreements signed between community colleges and some of the country’s best business programs hopes to change all that. These agreements, know as articulation agreements, are now offering outgoing community college students guaranteed admissions into business schools at four-year universities for the first time. Although the trend remains limited, it is gaining momentum as more and more schools are forming these partnerships across the country. It’s no wonder why the trend is growing: such agreements clearly benefit all of the parties involved.

Traditional colleges and universities benefit from the influx of qualified students who can begin degree programs without the loss of credit (that normal accompanies such transfers) and immediately begin work on a four-year degree. These students, with proven track records of success from the community college, are therefore more likely to complete their studies than other transfer students. Likewise, community colleges and their students win out as well because these agreements provide schools with a new lure for career-minded international students and give those students the chance to access joint programs, resources, and advisors. As a win-win all around such transfer agreements are doubtless a sign of things to come.

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