Fast Track for Aggie Transfers

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A new A&M transfer program is giving community college students a clear cut entrance into the university.

Beginning Spring of 2007, students who attend specific community colleges for two semesters will be able to directly transfer to Texas A&M University.

The deal was signed Friday.

All nine colleges that are a part of the new Articulation Transfer Program are in Texas. Those schools include: Collin County Community College District in Allen, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Richland College in Dallas, Northeast Campus, Tarrant County College District in Forth Worth, Central Campus of the San Jacinto College District in Pasadena, South Texas College in McAllen, two colleges in San Antonio-Palo Alto and San Antonio, and all four campuses of Blinn College in Bryan; Brenham; Schulenburg; and Sealy.

Scott McDonald, director of admissions at Texas A&M, says this is only a pilot program and it's is being implemented to see if the university will be successful increasing the number of transfer students.

McDonald says this new partnership with these institutions was forged out of ties that have already existed between them and A&M. The university has what they call Perspective Student Centers all across the state in cities where these campuses are located or are near.

In order for community college students to be able to transfer to A&M, they must meet the established criteria.

"Every student that is attending one of these invited community colleges that have at least 24 hours at that campus with a 3.0 grade point average and have completed the specified degree plan that has been articulated with that college with our departments will be guaranteed admission into A&M," McDonald said.

According to the director of admissions, all but three colleges on the A&M campus will accept students who transfer to the university under the Articulation Transfer Agreement.

The Mays School of Business, the College of Architecture and Liberal Arts, and BioMedical Veterinary Science have all opted out of the transfer program, for now. McDonald hopes in the future these schools may choose to become a part of the program.

Scott McDonald says the program will help the admissions department achieve a recruiting goal by out going president, Dr. Robert Gates.

Before receiving his nomination and recent confirmation as the new U.S. Secretary of Defense, Gates said he wanted A&M to increase enrollment over the next five years. He had set an increase mark of 1000 graduate students and 2500 undergraduates.

Dr. Gates does say the Articulation Transfer Program will help recruit a larger spectrum of the population.

"One of the principal objectives here is that community colleges around the state clearly offer an opportunity to help us recruit a more diverse student body," President Gates said.

He added, "This kind of program, it means that our efforts will continue in the future."