CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System have shined a light on their effort to streamline the two education systems. A new agreement makes it easier for students to transfer from a two-year school to a four-year school without having to retake classes.

“We just want to make sure students are getting credit for the courses they have taken,” said Sara Tucker, vice-chancellor of the Community and Technical College System. “So they are not having to duplicate their efforts, double their time, or spend money they’ve already spent.”

The CTCS signed onto a memorandum of understanding which was approved by the HEPC last week. Tucker said it highlights something that has long been in place, but rarely emphasized.

“We’ve had for a number of years a core coursework transfer agreement between the commission and the council,” Tucker said. “This is just to say we’re emphasizing this now. We’re putting a spotlight on this now.”

Over the last five years the number of students transferring for the two-year to four-year schools increased but nearly 40 percent. Tucker said it’s hard to know exactly why that has increased, but she suspect the recession and cost of education had a lot to do with it, particularly during the recession when the community colleges saw a huge jump in enrollment. She said a creative program established earlier may also be contributing to the increase.

“We have had a consolidated effort to emphasize two-plus-two programs,” said Tucker. “Where a student would begin in a community college program and finish two years in that program then transfer to a four-year institution where they would just have to do two years to earn a baccalaureate degree.”

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