Any student planning to transfer from a two year to a four year college needs to know about articulation agreements. These agreements area contract between two colleges that specify how credits will be transferred. In some states there are statewide agreements making it easy for students to complete two years at a community college and enter a state university as a college junior. In other states there are only very limited agreements between just a few schools.
In states such as Florida, California, and Kentucky there are statewide agreements. These agreements make it so that a student who completes and Associates of Arts or Associates of Science degree at a community college has fully met their general education requirements. As a result their credits transfer easily and they can enter the four year school as a junior. Junior status should allow a student to enter a four year school with the ability to finish their bachelor’s degree in two more years.
Tips for Students Beginning at Community College
1. Articulation Agreements: Check the articulation agreements in your state: Articulation Agreements Keep in mind right now that there is a big federal push for more states to adopt statewide articulation agreements. So, if your students aren’t entering college yet, it may be different by the time they do.
2. Advising is Vital: The student should meet regularly with community college advisers. Take advantage of opportunities to meet transfer and admissions advisors from four year universities. Take advantage of online transcript and course audit software to keep track of your progress on your own. Don’t rely solely on advisers to do this important job for you.
3. Maintain a High GPA: Your grades will be the single most important factor in admissions and scholarships. Fixing a low GPA can be a really slow process, so if you are struggling get help before you are stuck with low grades on your transcript.
4. Set the Goal of a Two Year Degree: Too often students just take a mish-mash of classes and figure the credits will transfer. Don’t waste your time on this approach. Setting the goal to complete your degree and focus on completing requirements.
5. Seek out Honors Opportunities: If invited, join campus honors societies. Phi Theta Kappa is the most respected national organization for two year college students. Phi Theta Kappa students are eligible for transfer scholarships at many schools.