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June 27, 2017

Taking the risk out of transferring college credits

President Ron Slepitza bows with the final Avila graduate to cross the stage.

Transferring your college credits from a community college to a four-year university can be a challenge. A City University of New York study shows that only 58% of transfer students can bring 90% of their credits with them. Even worst, more than one in 10 students lose nearly all of their transfer credits.

Articulation agreements make transferring your college credits easier.

To help ease the transfer process, community colleges and four-year institutions will work out approved pathways that allow for smoother transitions between schools. This pathway is an articulation agreement between two participating schools which specifies, or articulates, which community college courses are eligible to count toward a bachelor's degree program at the four-year university. The agreement outlines prerequisites, grade minimums, and other requirements, taking the guesswork out of transferring credits when the time comes.

With an articulation agreement:

  • College students know which courses have been approved by the four-year institution ahead of time and what grades are necessary for a smooth transfer.
  • The risk of transfer credit loss goes down.
  • Recent studies show that students are more likely to complete their bachelor's degrees and graduate in four years when they don't lose their credits in the transfer.

A word to the wise: Not all articulation agreements apply to all majors. These are individual agreements between each partner institution and are negotiated program by program. Check with your community college advisor or look at the school you want to transfer to for their specific articulation agreements.

To see what a typical articulation agreement looks like we've linked to a Graphic Design agreement between Johnson County Community College and Avila University.

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