Johnson County Community College has expanded its partnership with MidAmerica Nazarene University to make credit transfers easier and help students better adjust to their new school.
Articulation agreements with universities aim to make it easier to transfer to a four-year college after completing part or all of an associate’s degree. Although JCCC has agreements with most colleges in Kansas, this new one is a little different — and expanded.
“We’ve had a relationship for many years. This is to even make the path more clear and provide incentives for (students), and save time and money,” said MNU President David Spittal.
In a standard articulation agreement, schools accept transfer credit on a course by course basis, and some courses, even if accepted for credit, might count just as electives and not go toward a major’s requirements.
This new agreement goes beyond a standard agreement. Students who have completed an associate’s degree at JCCC will be able to do a block transfer. This means that they enter MNU with junior standing and would not have to take any additional first- or second-year classes, as long as they continue on in the same subject area.
Making the credits transfer easily was an important part of the agreement.
When universities require community college transfer students to go and retake classes or make up freshman and sophomore requirements, “it just defeats the purpose of transferring,” said J.D. Gragg, JCCC’s articulation development coordinator. “I think the community college is becoming more and more valued in the university’s eyes. These types of agreements demonstrate that.”
Also notable is a 20 percent tuition discount for students transferring from JCCC to MNU in certain programs, including nursing, business administration, elementary education and applied organizational leadership.
To encourage JCCC students to become involved in MNU’s student life before transferring, the agreement will allow JCCC students to attend any event an MNU student can attend for free with student I.D., including sports, arts and community events.
“(MNU) really said, ‘What can we do to really stand out among your partnerships?’ ” said Gragg.
JCCC has made two other special articulation agreements in the last few years, with the University of Kansas and with Ottawa University’s metro-area campus.
The deal with KU is a degree partnership program.
“They’re actually able to be enrolled at both institutions. That way they can start taking upper-division classes while they’re taking lower-division classes,” said Andy Anderson, vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer for JCCC.
If the degree requirements for a KU program change after a student has enrolled in the dual program but before he or she moves to KU full-time, the student will be grandfathered into the program and will not have to suddenly take a bunch of courses that weren’t part of the initial plan.
“The KU degree partnership was both sides realizing we wanted to do more,” Gragg said. “We had a lot of students who were doing it on their own, and we wanted to make it easier for them.”
JCCC’s agreement with Ottawa University,which is open to JCCC students who have finished an associate’s degree, also offers additional benefits. That program is open to those who want to attend the school through its Overland Park campus.
Gragg said that through the Ottawa agreement, students aiming to earn a bachelor’s degree cut their costs by 40 percent.
“It makes this a really viable option,” Gragg said. “It’s offered mostly online. It gives them an opportunity they wouldn’t necessarily have had.”
These expanded JCCC articulation agreements have a common goal of helping students get an education on a budget.
Although general articulation agreements aren’t new to JCCC, it’s just in the last two and a half years that the school has been expanding the agreements to do things such as making credit transfers easier and implementing tuition discounts.
Beth Lipoff: firstname.lastname@example.org