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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Ease of transfer

Pima Community College student Joseph Krause said transferring to a four-year school can be a struggle.

“”I think it’s really easy to get stuck at Pima,”” he said. “”I’m the perfect example. I’ve been here seven semesters.””

Krause, who studies business, said he tried to transfer to the UA once before and was unsuccessful because of unclear degree requirements and other complications within the system.

A new transfer initiative between the UA and PCC aims to streamline this process. The Arizona Transfer Admission Pathway Agreements is one of the efforts undertaken by all three universities to increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state.

The three universities presented their programs for low-cost degree options, including degree pathways between universities and community colleges, at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 17.

“”We’re all working to better our goal of being more productive and efficient (by) providing options and helping students find their way to a bachelor’s degree,”” said Katie Paquet, spokesperson for the Arizona Board of Regents.

NAU will eliminate more than 50 degree paths that are redundant within its programs, NAU Provost Liz Grobsmith said at the meeting. Gail Burd, vice provost of UA Academic Affairs, said the UA does not have plans to eliminate any degree pathways at this time.

The new UA and PCC transfer agreement was signed earlier this month and created official degree pathways between the schools in 16 disciplines, such as anthropology, communication and political science. PCC will have between 75 and 85 new pathways within two years, according to Mike Proctor, vice provost of UA outreach and global initiatives.  

“”We put a lot of time into making sure every element of the transfer is clear and fairly concise, so it’s easier to make students aware of the opportunity,”” Proctor said.

“”It takes a lot of ongoing work.””

Degree articulation staff from both schools worked to identify the most closely aligned programs. They made changes in which courses are accepted for transfer credit and when those courses are offered. Additional courses were also offered online in some cases.

“”This has really (been) driven by making extremely seamless pathways and identifying any possible disconnect,”” Proctor said.

Programs will continue to be evaluated to ensure they stay aligned with one another, according to William Fee, director of UA Transfer Curriculum and Academic Articulation.

“”It’s always challenging with curriculum,”” Fee said. “”We have to face the fact that curriculum’s changing. That all has to be accounted for.””

The UA will work on similar pathways with community colleges throughout Arizona, he said.

The UA plans to increase enrollment by 14,000 students across Arizona annually by 2020 as part of the Arizona Board of Regents 2020 Vision strategic plan. Community college partnerships will serve 10,000 of these students, according to an Arizona Board of Regents executive summary.

The new agreement aims to reach this goal by helping students who are uncertain about the transfer process.

“”From the Pima side, it seems like the two colleges are completely separate and have nothing to do with each other,”” Krause said. He said he plans on transferring to the UA next semester.

The current system of transferring credits and meeting advisers can be convoluted, he said.

“”I feel like I made a million trips (to the UA campus) and would get there and be sent to the wrong person,”” Krause said.

Proctor said the intent of the new agreement is to remove barriers to transferring.

“”There are a number of students who go to community college and have every intention of finishing in four years,”” Proctor said. “”They have every intention of going here, but it didn’t happen.””

Proctor said the program provides resources for students who were sidetracked in their degree paths due to family or job issues or difficult classes.

“”You don’t have to build the path yourself,”” Proctor said. “”We’ve built it for you. We’re here to help.””

Marketing teams will also target transfer students in advertising the new pathways, according to Proctor.

Anthony Abeyta, a recreation management student at PCC, said making students aware of the pathways could encourage them to continue on to the UA.

“”The only barrier is just staying motivated at Pima,”” Abeyta said. “”There’s not really something telling you to go to a four-year school and get that degree.””

Abeyta plans on transferring to the UA next semester and said the process is easy for students who know what resources are available. He said the transfer agreement may make these options clearer.

“”It’s just informing people,”” Abeyta said. “”You’ll have credits transfer. It’s a for-sure deal.””

 

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