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Colo. Department of Higher Education launches four new statewide transfer agreements


Last updated 9/30/2020 at 12:27pm

Agreements in computer science, dance, journalism and public health provide a seamless pathway from associate to bachelor’s degrees

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) recently launched four new statewide transfer articulation agreements in computer science, dance, journalism and public health. The agreements, approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) and developed by faculty at two-and four-year public colleges and universities across the state—enable students to earn an associate degree with “designation” in a specific discipline or professional field, and then transfer into a related bachelor’s degree program.

“We recognize that the approval of these agreements will enable students to pursue and complete higher education and at a lower cost, a critical factor in the sustainability of our post-pandemic economy,” said Tom McGimpsey, chair of CCHE.

This launch increases the number of statewide transfer articulation agreements approved by CCHE from 34 to 38. Statewide transfer agreements provide a benefit of structure, bulk transferability and peace of mind for students.

Students who utilize the agreements are more likely to transfer into a four-year degree program and earn a bachelor’s degree within three years after transfer. They also accumulate fewer credits in completing the bachelor’s degree, making the degree more affordable, a key priority for CCHE, the Department and Governor Jared Polis as outlined in The Roadmap to Containing College Costs and Making College Affordable.

This structured pathway helps achieve the state’s master plan goal of 66 percent adult postsecondary educational attainment by 2025. Thousands of community college students have already taken advantage of statewide transfer agreements since they were launched in 2011.

“With more than half of our student population setting goals to transfer, it is critical that our community colleges continue to partner with universities and the Commission to create additional statewide transfer pathways that are supportive, transparent and that substantially lower the overall costs for students to complete a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Landon Pirius, vice chancellor at the Colorado Community College System.

The computer science transfer pathway is the first statewide transfer agreement with the Colorado School of Mines. Tracy Camp, professor and head of the computer science department, saw an opportunity to increase access to the Mines program for students at community colleges across the state, building on long-standing agreements with individual colleges.

“Colorado School of Mines is working hard to make it easier for community college students to transfer to Mines, and we are excited to participate in the new statewide transfer articulation agreement in computer science,” said Richard C. Holz, provost and professor at Colorado School of Mines. “This is the first statewide transfer pathway to Mines, but it won’t be the last — we look forward to participating in more transfer agreements in the future.”

While faculty from across the state developed the academic pathways, academic advisors and transfer coordinators provided invaluable insight into the needs and experiences of students who are thinking about transfer.

Chris Rasmussen, CDHE senior director of academic pathways and innovation, said, “Advisors brought perspective on how transfer agreements work in practice—based on their many conversations with students and also their work with faculty and admissions staff. Bringing faculty and academic advisors together made these new agreements stronger and better for students.”


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