Colorado Community College System
Colorado Community College System (CCCS) convinced its General Assembly (House Bill & Senate Bill) to pass legislation requiring the creation of statewide transfer agreements. The goal of the statewide transfer agreements is that, upon completion of their associates’ degree in a given subject, students are able to transfer all 60 community college credit to any public four-year institutions in the state and enter with junior status as if the student started at the four-year institution. This enables certainty of transfer throughout the state, without loss of college credit. Today, there are now 28 statewide transfer agreements in place. In total, the Colorado Community College System transfers between 11,000 and 12,000 students each year to public and private higher education institutions. Data show that Colorado community college students perform as well or better than native students who start at four-year institutions in terms of grade point average and graduation rates.
For each statewide transfer agreement, CCCS put in place a Degree with Designation within its system. A Degree with Designation (DwD) is a clearly defined pathway for students interested in pursuing specified majors at a four-year college or university. Prior to DwDs, community college students interested in transferring would enroll in a general Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program. While this is a standard practice at most community colleges, students often end up taking courses that do not directly transfer to their intended major or they end up taking more courses than actually required for their degree program. This leads to additional costs and time for students, which in turn can hamper their ability to graduate.
North Carolina Community College System
In April 2014, North Carolina Community Colleges signed a major new statewide articulation agreement with the University of North Carolina System, a result of almost two years of work between our the systems. The agreement included over 600 faculty members from both sectors in the discussions and negotiations. There are a number of features to it including transfer guarantees for associate degree completers, but perhaps the most significant change is guaranteed course-to-course transfer for designated general education courses between all 58 community colleges and all 16 UNC institutions. This provides clarity for students and insurance that their courses have guaranteed transfer even if they transfer before graduating, which the vast majority of our students do.
The new articulation agreement serves as a baseline for our new efforts with UNC to enable reverse transfer, and is the foundation model for new articulation agreements we are entering into with the private colleges in our state through the North Carolina Independent Colleges Association. Also, in February with the foundation of the new articulation agreement, we will announce new seamless articulation agreements with all the UNC institutions on engineering and nursing (based on a 3+1 model).