Dual Admission | Confession of the Dean of a Community College

There is a good part in this week’s Hatching report about the dual admission program. It’s worth reading.

Dual admissions programs usually work by applying the student to a two-year college and a four-year college simultaneously, assuming that they will start earlier and end later. In some cases, community colleges use them to attract students wishing to complete a four-year degree; Among others, four-year schools offer a small league tryout for their students who have not been admitted for the first time. Finish community college with a GPA of at least X and go back to where you wanted to be.

There are plenty of ‘wins’ to go around. For four-year partners, dual admission agreements help fill seats in higher-level classes that are often shortened due to peer attrition. Even better, they fill those seats with students who have a track record of success in college. For community colleges, there is an obvious advantage of enrollment, and a less obvious advantage of a clear incentive for students to finish. If a student really wants to go to Flagship U, and the condition to go ends up in community college first, they will do what they have to do to finish.

For the student, the benefits are several. The most obvious security; The student knows what will happen next, assuming everything is fine. (Of course this is a major assumption, but no agreement can eliminate it completely.) Dual admission agreements usually waive the second school application fee, which is helpful.

But the biggest advantage, I suspect, is the assurance that every credit will be transferred. In the world of vertical transfers, it is not always given. Some of these are a function of snobbery and / or self-interest in terms of obtaining departments, but there is another fundamental problem in the workplace: four-year colleges in the same state often require different degrees.

This may seem daunting enough, but it creates a real challenge for schools that prepare a lot of students for the transfer. It’s not uncommon for area community colleges, such as many places in the Northeast, to be divided into dozens of different destinations for a given graduate class, with a four-year school surplus. Even the bottom edge of our top ten receiving schools gets healthy numbers from us. For any given program, however, it is often impossible to fully emulate the first two years of hypothetical studies, since the four-year school hypothetical studies programs differ from one another. Imitating the compass directional conditions is great if students want to go there, but if they go to Flagship U, those same courses may not be appropriate.

In the case of dual admissions, the student specifies the target school in advance. Often, the targeted school provides academic advice to ensure that students take the “correct” class, even if they need some internal exemptions in their community college. Ensuring matching of one course with another can reduce credit loss, which is all good.

In terms of convenience, one can expect dual admission programs to be more popular than them. My idea about it is that they are relatively marginal for a number of reasons. The most basic is that many students entering community colleges still do not know where they want to go or what program they want to go to. When they figure it out, the issue of dual admission will be important. Even those who know what they want to show still have knowledge problems – most students probably don’t know that these programs exist – and lack confidence that they will finish on time and / or have the resources to continue. . For students in unhealthy situations, something like this may seem far-fetched.

I’m a fan of dual admissions – especially when their students are eligible for transfer scholarships – but it’s no surprise that economic uncertainty forces students to pursue short-term horizons they don’t follow. They assume students with clear plans and adequate resources. They’re great when they work, but if we really want them to work, we need to manage resources to students early and reliably.

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