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College Partnerships and Articulation Agreements

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This page contains information about college partnerships, also known as articulation agreements. These are agreements between community colleges and four-year colleges to provide a smooth transition for transfer students from community college graduates into four-year colleges. Typically they either guarantee that the associate's degree will satisfy all freshman and sophomore general education requirements at the four-year university or specify a list of courses that will be treated as equivalent.

Some colleges offer dual admissions programs where the student applies to both the community college and the four-year college at the same time. If admitted, the student is guaranteed a spot as a transfer student at the four-year college provided that they obtain an associates degree from the community college.

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Some four-year colleges have such well-defined articulation agreements that the community colleges act as feeder schools for the four-year colleges, with a large percentage of transfer students coming from those schools.

There is pending legislation in the US Senate, S1677 Community College Partnership Act of 2003, which is intended to encourage such partnerships between community colleges and four-year colleges.

Students can save on tuition by completing some of their credits at a lower-cost community college and then transferring to a four-year college or university. The average community college tuition rate is 40% of the average tuition rate at four-year public colleges and 10% of the average tuition rate at four-year private colleges. Even when one compares net tuition rates, one can still save thousands of dollars a year by attending a community college for the first two years.

Most college partnerships are either limited to colleges within a specific geographic area or between all of the public community colleges and public four-year colleges in the state's system of higher education.

A few states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, guarantee admission into the state's public four-year colleges for students who complete an associate's degree at one of the state's community colleges.

The transfer.org Course Applicability System provides course equivalency information for a handful of colleges.

The League for Innovation in the Community College has articulation agreements between the more than 600 League Alliance Member colleges and several four-year colleges, including Antioch University McGregor, Capella University, Franklin University, Strayer University University of Phoenix, United States Open University, and Western Governors University.

Besides looking into articulation agreements, students should also ask about the college's advanced standing policy (the ability to get credit for AP tests, CLEP and other exams).

The following table provides a list of the four-year colleges in each state that have articulation agreements with community colleges. This list is by no means complete. If a college isn't mentioned in this compendium, ask the college you're interested in whether they have any articulation agreements with local community colleges. You can also ask the community college for a list of their four-year college partners. The Admissions Office or the Registrar will be able to provide information about the college's articulation agreements. Public colleges are more likely to have articulation agreements than prestigious private four-year colleges.

State Partnerships
Arizona Articulation agreements exist between the Arizona public colleges (Arizona State University, University of Arizona) and more than a dozen Arizona community colleges.
California The University of California's Dual Admissions Program allows California high school seniors who rank between the top 4% and 12.5% of their class to apply for a guaranteed spot as a transfer student at a specific University of California campus. The students apply for admission and if admitted, complete their preliminary coursework at one of the state's public community colleges. 90% of students who transfer to the University of California started their education at a California community college.

Individual California community colleges, such as Orange Coast College, have articulation agreements with various private four-year colleges.

The Independent Sector Articulation Project provides information on transferring from any California community college to any member college of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU).

The California Articulation Number System (cansystem.org) provides a method of identifying equivalent courses on various participating campuses.

The University of Southern California also has articulation agreements with dozens of California community colleges, as does Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton, and Mount St. Mary's College.

See also Project ASSIST for articulation agreements between California community colleges and California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC).

Colorado Mesa State College
Connecticut The University of Connecticut has a state-wide articulation agreement.
Florida Guaranteed admission into one of the state's public four-year colleges for graduates from one of the state's public community colleges. Community college associates degree graduates are guaranteed admission to one of the state's ten state universities, but not necessarily to the university of their choice. There is also an articulation agreement between the State Board of Community Colleges and the independent colleges and universities of Florida.
Illinois Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Columbia College Chicago
Northern Illinois University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Indiana Ball State University
Indiana State University
Iowa An articulation agreement exists between the three Iowa regent universities (University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa) and the 15 Iowa community colleges.

An articulation agreement also exists between NIACC North Iowa Community College and Waldorf College.

Maryland An articulation agreement exists between Carroll Community College and several four-year colleges.

Other private Maryland colleges with articulation agreements include Capitol College, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Goucher College, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary's College and Villa Julie College.

Other four-year colleges with articulation agreements include University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Michigan An articulation agreement exists between Ferris State University and more than two dozen community colleges. Eastern Michigan University, and Central Michigan University also each have articulation agreements with several community colleges. Grand Valley State University in Allendale has an articulation agreement with all the community colleges in Michigan.
Minnesota See the MNTransfer web site. A statewide articulation agreement is in effect for Minnesota public colleges.
Mississippi An articulation agreement exists between all public four-year colleges in Mississippi and all the community colleges in the state.
Missouri An articulation agreement exists between Northwest Missouri State University and more than a dozen community colleges located in Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

North Central Missouri College has partnerships with several four-year schools.

Nebraska The Nebraska Transfer Initiative provides for the transfer of an associates degree to fulfill the general education requirements at certain public and private four-year Nebraska colleges. The four-year colleges include the University of Nebraska, Wayne State College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Union College and York College, among others. Bellevue University also has articulation agreements with more than a dozen community colleges in Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.
New Jersey Rutgers University
New York An articulation agreement exists between Empire State College and three community colleges (Erie Community College, Jamestown Community College, and Niagara County Community College) and three Canadian schools located in Ontario (Fanshawe College, Lambton College, and Mohawk College).

The State University of New York (SUNY) has articulation agreements with many community colleges within the SUNY system.

Ithaca College has articulation agreements with several nearby community colleges, including Broome Community College, Cayuga County Community College, Corning Community College, Kerkimer County Community College, Monroe Community College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville, and Tompkins Cortland Community College.

City University of New York has articulation agreements with nine community colleges.

The University of Buffalo also has articulation agreements with local community colleges.

Nevada A system articulation agreement exists between various campuses of the University of Nevada and nearby state community colleges. There is an articulation agreement between the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) and Truckee Meadows Community College. Another articulation agreement exists between the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) and the Community College of Southern Nevada and Henderson State College.
North Carolina The North Carolina Community College System has had since 1997 a Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) with the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. More than a dozen of the state's private colleges and universities have signed identical or very similar agreements, and many others have bilateral agreements. The CAA does not guarantee admission; however, it does guarantee junior status for AA, AS and AFA graduates, preserves course credit and streamlines the process for community college transfer students. Also, a number of public and private institutions have specific transfer agreements for AAS graduates, and there are "two-plus-two" programs in critical areas such as teaching and nursing. An example of such a CAA articulation agreement is North Carolina Wesleyan College's articulation agreements with 16 public and private community colleges in North Carolina.
Ohio Articulation agreements exist between Wright State University and the following community colleges: Clark State Community College, Edison Community College, H. Lavity Stoutt, Owens Community College, Sinclair Community College, and Southern State Community College.

An articulation agreement also exists between Ohio State University and seven community colleges in Ohio, including Clark State Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain Community College, Owens Community College and Sinclair Community College.

An articulation agreement exists between the University of Toledo and more than a dozen community colleges.

Oklahoma An associate's degree from a state public community college will satisfy the first two years of general education requirements at a state public four-year college. More information can be found on the Oklahoma State Regents web site.
Oregon Portland State University
Pennsylvania Guaranteed admission into one of the state's public four-year colleges for graduates from one of the state's public community colleges.

There are also articulation agreements between the 14 community colleges and public and private four-year Pennsylvania colleges (as well as some out-of-state colleges). The four-year colleges include Beaver College, Bethany College, Bucknell University, Cabrini College, California University of Pennsylvania, Carlow College, Cedar Crest College, Centenary College, Chatham College, Chestnut Hill College, Drexel University, Duquesne University, Eastern Kentucky University, Embry Riddle University, Florida Institute of Technology, Gannon University, Geneva College, Goldey Beacom College, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Immaculata College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Juniata College, Keystone College, King's College, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, La Roche College, La Salle College, Lafayette College, Lehigh Carbon, Lehigh University, Lincoln University, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Moravian College, Mount Aloysius College, Neumann College, Old Dominion University, Peirce College, Penn State University, Point Park College, Rider University, Robert Morris College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rosemont College, SUNY, Seton Hill College, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University, Springfield College, St. Joseph's University, St. Vincent College, Temple University, Thiel College, Thomas Edison State College, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Delaware, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Pittsburgh, University of Scranton, Villanova University, Virginia Union University, Waynesburg College, West Virginia University, Westminster College, Wheeling Jesuit College, Widener University, Wilberforce University, Wilkes University, Wilmington College, Wilson College, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.

Albright College has articulation agreements with several area community colleges.

South Carolina An articulation agreement exists between all public four-year colleges in South Carolina and all the community colleges in the state.
Tennessee An articulation agreement exists between the Austin Peay State University and more than a dozen community colleges.

The University of Tennessee has articulation agreements with Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Cleveland State Community College, Hiwassee College, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Roane State Community College and Walters State Community College.

Tusculum College has articulation agreements with Cleveland State Community College, Pellissippi State Technical Community College and Roane State Community College.

Texas An articulation agreement exists between the University of Texas at Arlington and the following community colleges: Collin County Community College, Dallas County Community College, Tarrant County College, McLennan Community College, and Weatherford College.

Other four-year colleges with articulation agreements include Sam Houston State University and the University of North Texas.

Utah An articulation agreement exists between Western Governors University and a dozen community colleges in Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, New York and New Jersey.

An articulation agreement exists between Brigham Young University and 35 community colleges.

Virginia An articulation agreement exists between the Virginia Community College Systems (VCCS) and the following four-year colleges and universities: Ferrum College, James Madison University, Longwood College, St. Paul's College, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Individual community colleges within VCCS may have additional articulation agreements with specific colleges. Old Dominion University has articulation agreements with specific community colleges.
Wisconsin University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin at River Falls
University of Wisconsin - Stout

Another good source on information about community colleges and efforts to facilitate articulation agreements can be found on the web site of the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC).

 

 
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