New transfer rule signed for Alabama colleges

Published 8:18 pm Thursday, November 10, 2016

By Blake Deshazo
The Selma Times-Journal

Students that go to a two-year college in Alabama and transfer to a four-year school before earning their associate’s degree will now be able to transfer credits back to complete that degree. The Alabama Community College System, public universities in the state and Huntingdon College signed an agreement Tuesday to make that process easier and more available to students.

Dr. James Mitchell, president of Wallace Community College Selma, said the agreement is a great asset to both the college and students.

“I just think it is a great thing for the state as well as a great thing for students,” he said. “You’re talking about students gaining as many credentials as they can, and that makes a resume look even better.”

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Mitchell said the college will benefit because it helps the graduation rate.

“What it does is it helps us in terms of the number of program completers or what we call graduates,” Mitchell said. “That’s one of the evaluation criteria, so that will obviously help us in terms of our graduation rate as well as the four-year colleges and universities.”

Reverse transfers have been possible for several years, but the agreement now makes the process much easier for students across the state.

“Many people understand that you can take courses at community colleges, transfer those credits to a university, and apply them toward a four-year degree,” said Jimmy Baker, acting chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. “Our new agreement makes it possible for students to transfer credits in the other direction too, helping them to attain a recognized credential they can use in the workplace or as they further their education.”

Many times students transfer to a four-year university and don’t seek their two-year degree, but Mitchell thinks students will be more aware of it now that it is easier and statewide.

“I’m sure we’ll have a number of students take advantage of it. I feel pretty confident we will,” Mitchell said. “Once they are fully aware of it, they will probably be very excited about it. Having just signed it, our counselors, our student coaches and all of those will be working with them during registration and that process to bring them up to speed on that new agreement.”