ACC, Southern Methodist University Partner to Increase College Graduates

A new agreement between Austin Community College and Southern Methodist University aims to boost the number of college graduates in the state of Texas by easing the transfer process and allowing students to combine credits to earn an associate degree – even if they transfer before community college graduation.

“This is a win for everyone – most importantly, for our students,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “The agreement ensures qualified ACC students a seamless transfer to SMU plus a timely awarding of a valuable credential. By partnering with a prominent national university like SMU, ACC will be able to help more students achieve their dream of earning a college degree.”

The agreement certifies ACC courses that are easily transferable to SMU with equivalent credit, and also allows students to transfer credits earned at SMU back to ACC. Students often transfer to a four-year institution just shy of the hours they need to complete their associate degree. The new agreement allows ACC to provide students with an additional credential upon graduation.

Research shows students who earn an associate degree are much more likely to persist and complete a four-year degree. Reverse transfer programs such as this also enable students to obtain a college degree if their plans change before graduation from a university.

ACC has one of the highest transfer rates among large Texas community colleges, with 43 percent of ACC’s 43,000 credit students planning to transfer to a university.

Of the 1,768 undergraduates who were new to SMU in fall 2013, 337 were transfers from other colleges and universities. Nearly 59 percent of the transfers came from two-year programs like ACC.

“SMU is committed to increasing our transfer-student numbers and expanding the list of community colleges that send students our way,” says Stephanie Dupaul, SMU associate vice president for enrollment management. “Agreements that allow students to easily transfer community college credits to four-year universities like ours improve their chances of completing a four-year degree, and SMU reaps the benefits of terrific, highly motivated students.”

For more information, visit ACC’s Transfer Services webpage.

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