February 11, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU and the Austin Community College District have signed an agreement designed to ease the process for students transferring from ACC’s two-year programs to SMU’s four-year undergraduate programs.
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 the community college district. Students often transfer to a four-year institution just shy of the hours they need to complete their associate degree, so the new agreement allows ACC to provide students with an additional credential upon graduation.
“SMU is committed to increasing our transfer-student numbers and expanding the list of community colleges who send students our way, “ said 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.”
SMU also provides a 50 percent scholarship to transfer students entering the University with at least 50 transferable hours and a 3.7 GPA.
Community colleges serve almost half the undergraduate students in the United States, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, and 40 percent of community college students are in the first generation of family members to attend college. Of the 1,768 undergraduates who were new to SMU in fall 2013, 1,431 made the transition directly from high school and 337 were transfers from other colleges and universities. Of the transfers, nearly 59 percent came to SMU from two-year programs like ACC.
"This new partnership between ACC and SMU is a win for everyone – most importantly, for our students,” said 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. ACC will be able to help more students achieve their goals by partnering with a prominent national university like SMU."
ACC serves approximately 43,000 credit-earning students annually on 10 campuses in Central Texas, with the 11th scheduled to open in fall 2014.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner frequently cites his own experience as an example of the power of transferring: He, too, began his college education in a two-year program, receiving an associate degree from Lubbock Christian College. Turner transferred as a junior to Abilene Christian University, where he graduated with a B.S. in psychology, then went on to receive an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas.
"Transfer students are important to us because they add diversity of life experience in our upper-level classes," Turner said. "We like to remind people that there's more than one way to get a degree at SMU."
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.
More than half of all Central Texas high school graduates choose the Austin Community College District for their college education. ACC helps students meet a variety of goals, including workforce training for high-demand careers, university transfer, college readiness, and attainment of new skills for career advancement. The college is home to the Student Success Initiative, a comprehensive effort to accelerate student achievement and promote innovative instruction. ACC partners with business and industry to create a pipeline of skilled workers and build a stronger, more vibrant economy. With ten campuses and nearly a dozen centers, there is an ACC location near you. Find out more at austincc.edu.