What Should I Know Before I Attend a Community College with the Intent to Transfer After a Year or Two?

Students attend community colleges for a variety of reasons. You may want to save money on tuition, stay close to home, or get good grades so that you can gain acceptance to a university. No matter what the reason is, if you are attending a community college with the intent to transfer to a university, it is important to do your homework in advance. Transferring from junior colleges to four-year colleges has become a popular choice in today’s economy. While it is a popular choice, parents and students are not sure what they need to research before they apply to a junior college and enroll in classes. Here are some questions that you should ask so that you know what courses to take and which schools you can attend.

Does the School Have an Articulation Agreement With Four-Year Schools?

One of the most important questions you will need to ask is whether or not the junior college has an articulation agreement with local schools. Articulation agreements, which are sometimes referred to as college partnerships, are written agreements between two-year schools and four-year schools that are designed to make the transferring process run as smoothly as possible. The agreement will typically state what courses are required to be granted a student transfer to the university to pursue a specific degree.

Articulation agreements might also state that anyone who earns an associate’s degree will automatically be done with the coursework that would be taken during the freshman and sophomore year at a four-year school. If this is the agreement, the school will consider any student who transfers with their associate’s degree a junior.

Is There a Dual Admission Program Available?

Another factor to consider is whether or not the school offers a dual admissions program. These programs are great when you know which four-year school you plan to apply to once you are done at the junior college. A dual admission program states that anyone who applies to the community college and is admitted will be accepted to the four-year college as long as complete their associate’s degree. This is important because when there is no program and admission is competitive, you may not be accepted because of your grades even though you earned your degree.

Is the Junior College Accredited or on Probation?

If you plan on attending a school that is not in the same city or state as the junior college, there is a good chance that there will be no dual admission program or articulation agreement. In this case, it is important to verify that the two-year college you would like to attend is regionally accredited and in good standing with the board. You can check a school’s status with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges or directly through the Department of Education . You should not only see when the accreditation renews, but whether or not the school is on probation. If the school loses accreditation before you apply, there is a chance that a university will not recognize your credits.
Please also see: How Do You Know if an Online School is Accredited?

It is very important to plan ahead when you are transferring schools. Choose a major, review the prerequisite requirements, and then find out how early you must apply. You can ask all of these important questions through the community college transfer center, and get informed to avoid missteps.