It's a common practice for entering freshmen to begin their college careers at a community college before transferring, and ACC has one of the highest transfer rates to four-year area universities. About 43 percent plan to transfer. The new "reverse transfer" program will allow students to combine credits for coursework taken at ACC at UT-Austin, according to an announcement released Monday.
"This is a win for everyone – most importantly, for our students," ACC president Dr. Richard Rhodes said. "This agreement recognizes students' achievements and ensures timely awarding of a valuable credential to students who have earned it."
Transfer programs such as this also enable students to obtain a college degree if their plans change before graduation from a university.
The agreement with UT will allow students to complete their associate degree requirements, even without graduating from the community college or UT. Students must earn 25 percent of their credit hours at ACC. The community college system is considering developing transfer agreements with other four-year universities.
Officials say the associate degree is the fastest-growing workplace credential. Two-year degrees are required for 62 percent of the nation's jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
"Anything we can do to encourage undergraduate success and completion needs to be in the mix," said UT President Bill Powers. "Earning an associate degree will help keep our transfer students on track to complete their next important educational milestone – their bachelor's degree."