With a new partnership announced between Maricopa County Community College District and the University of Arizona, MCCCD students will be able to seamlessly transfer credits and be automatically accepted into certain programs at the university.

“Through this enhanced partnership with the University of Arizona we are providing students with an excellent opportunity to attain a bachelor’s degree,” said MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper. “The UA Bridge program will provide a full range of services from both our institutions to help ease the transfer process for students.”

The current transfer agreements between the two institutions are generic, and while they allow courses to transfer, an associate degree may not meet all of the general education requirements for specific programs at the university, said Rose Rojas, MCCCD assistant director of transfer and articulation.

“Because we’re a public institution, we participate in state transfer agreement,” said Andrea Buehman, MCCCD executive director of academic affairs. “But this goes beyond that. We will have dedicated resources to this program.”

Under the new agreement, students will be able to work with a university counselor on which classes they should take, and have automatic admission into their chosen academic program (assuming the student meets all of the admission requirements). There will be additional scholarship opportunities for transfer students.

“We tried to focus on niche programs not found at ASU,” Buehman said. “We’re trying to look to where students don’t have enough opportunities.”

Bridge opportunities will include things like the university’s College of Public Health or College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, but will potentially also include a pathway into the elementary education degree. About 19 programs are under review to be part of the transfer program.

The primary goal of the partnership is to increase the number of MCCCD students who eventually go on to receive a bachelor’s degree, increase the number MCCCD transfer students to UA and increase the opportunities for direct transfer into specific UA degree programs, said Tom Gariepy, MCCCD spokesman. Currently, the community college district has a similar program with Arizona State University called MAPP. Unlike the similar agreement with ASU, there are currently no plans in place to institute a tuition commitment, which would place limits to tuition increases for students.

If students have more questions about the transfer program with UA, there will be an event with additional information on March 22 at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College campus, Gariepy said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or sspring@evtrib.com

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