The collegiate function encompasses the transfer and curriculum between two or more learning s. The actual transfer discussed in this paper is the initial enrollment at a community college and the subsequent admission at any four year institution. For a student to be eligible for such a transfer, they must renounce their enrollment in the community college. There are agreements developed by the educational stakeholders including the state, the community colleges and the four year course institutions. These kinds of agreements have been referred to as articulating agreements which are laid down to regulate the flow of students to and from the various institutions. The transfer policy was established with an aim of improving the transferability of education among public colleges and Universities. Transfer programs and articulating agreements have a number of functions some of which are discussed in this paper.
The Function of Transfer Program between Community Colleges and Four Year Institutions
In an attempt to partner with institutions of higher learning, the collegiate function was established between community colleges and the four year courses in the various university departments. The colleges were forced to develop courses that resembled the universities’ curriculum for ease of making transfers. The more related the courses in the community colleges are with those of a university. the higher the status that was accorded to them by the university.
Individual institutions have the responsibility of identifying the courses, programs and degrees to be transferred with relevant institutions. Incentives and guidelines for the development of agreements are always stipulated by the state which also has the ability to regulate the agreements. For instance, a certain state may require that a specific degree must be offered by all the institutions. Mostly, the stakeholders of these agreements are institutions in the public domain and not those in the private sector. The state also establishes similar incentives, common core curricula and is therefore vested with the power to control the agreement.
Functions of the Transfer Program
The main aim of the transfer program is to prepare students for joining four-year institutions where they can specialize in various courses to attain undergraduate degrees of their choices. Many four year institutions have developed obstacles including non-binding articulating agreements, and poor collaboration and communication with the community colleges. It is these barriers that transfer programs mainly seek to overcome.
Among the many reasons for opting to use the community college transfer to a four year degree is to minimize the cost of education. The transfer programs or systems therefore help students from poor economic backgrounds to access tertiary education like their privileged counterparts. Such a system helps in the selection of students to join various disciplines without regard to what the student aspires to be, but based on the subjects that he/she takes as noted by Dennis (1991). The transfer program also helps decide on the transfer rates between the partners in the program (Dennis, 1991). The transfer programs also help review noncredit offerings and the credit courses, therefore discouraging the offering of conversational languages in these colleges. The development of the transfer program has led to the coming up of aggressive high school programs to attract qualified students to highly ranked courses like engineering (Mary, 2005).
Role of Articulating Agreements in the Transfers
Articulating agreements always specify the courses that the two year colleges are unable to offer and actually demonstrate the ones that are mandatory in that institution. Use of articulating agreements has led to the development of a system whereby exemplary students are awarded with scholarships. The articulating agreements allow teachers to be trained. the training is connected with neighboring university programs with two years in the community college and two years in the University (Cohen, 2004). Course by course transfer is a good example of the articulating agreements between the community colleges and the four year course institutions (Mary, 2005).
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Mary, C.M and John, S.(2005) Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers. Washington, D.C. National Academies Press. pp 14