Earlier this month, President Barack Obama called community colleges the “unsung heroes” of the nation’s education system. He said that two-year schools offer students a gateway to good paying jobs and a better way of life.
Some four-year institutions in the U.S. forge partnerships with community colleges in an effort to keep that gateway open for scholars. For example, The Tennessean recently reported that one of the state’s two-year schools has reached an agreement with a four-year institution, which would allow associate’s degree recipients to transfer their credits and pursue a bachelor’s. This will allow students to focus more on completing their degree program as oppose to worrying about what credits can be transferred and the additional cost they may incur.
Leaders from the two schools will sign a dual admissions agreement on November 12. The four-year university signed two similar agreements with community colleges during the summer and is expected to sign another in the coming weeks, the news provider reports.
While addressing the most recent agreement, the university’s president said that the new arrangement will ensure a smoother transition for those associate’s degree holders wishing to pursue a higher education.
According to The Gloucester County Times, a two-year school in New Jersey recently formed an alliance with a university in Maryland to create a seamless web-based transition toward a bachelor’s degree. The agreement allows for maximum transfer credit for community college graduates who have course grades of a “C” average of better.
The community college’s president said that the new partnership gives his students an extra incentive to advance their careers by pursuing an online bachelor’s degree from the convenience of their own homes. In addition, students who earn an associate’s degree and carry at least a 3.0 grade point average are eligible for scholarships.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that individuals with a bachelor’s degree are having more success remaining in the workforce. In September of 2010, only 4.4 percent of those with a bachelor’s were unemployed, compared to 9.1 percent of those with some college experience or an associate’s degree. Approximately 10 percent of Americans with no college experience were unemployed last month.
Furthermore, the recent trends have favored those with a four-year education. Since May 2010, unemployment for bachelor’s degree recipients has gone done by 0.3 percent, while the rate has gone up 0.8 percent for those with an associate’s or some college experience.