Don't leave your community college credits behind
Community colleges can be an affordable path to a bachelor's degree, but there are some obstacles students will need to maneuver. A 2014 study from the City University of New York reports that more than one in 10 community college students lose nearly all of their college course credits when transferring to a four-year university. The report goes on to show that only 58 percent of transfer students can bring 90 percent or more of their credits to their four-year institution.
The problem isn't that community colleges aren't preparing students for their bachelor's degree. Instead, the roadblock is in the transfer process. In fact, bachelor of arts graduation rates for community college students is similar to students who start at a four-year university — when these transfer students can get their academic credits successfully transferred.
While each university will have its requirements and processes, there are things the student can do to maximize the credits that will transfer toward their BA:
1. Look for articulation agreements between the community college and the university. Articulation agreements are approved pathways that the two institutions have already established to ensure that credits transfer. Avila University has articulation agreements with Johnson County Community College (JCCC), Metropolitan Community Colleges (MCC) and Donnelly College.
2. Plan when enrolling in community college classes. Most university websites will list curriculum equivalencies if they have a relationship with your community college. Counselors at the community college will also have equivalency information for the universities they frequently send students.
3. Maybe you know where you would like to transfer already. Contact that school's admissions team as early as possible to align your classes with their transfer requirements. The admissions team should be eager to help you navigate their transfer process. They can also get you in contact with an academic advisor to help deliver the most efficient degree experience.
4. Don't forget to ask about scholarship opportunities. Many private, four-year universities will offer scholarships to transfer students. While talking to their admissions team, ask about transfer scholarships.
Another option Missouri residents have is the Missouri Reverse Transfer (MRT) agreement. With MRT students who have earned credits toward, but not completed, an associate's degree from any Missouri community college can transfer to Avila and receive their associate's degree with the credits they earn at Avila. With MRT you'll be earning your associates degree while pursuing your bachelor's degree. The MRT is another way to ensure that you won't leave your credits behind and that you won't lose time in pursuing your bachelors.