February 23, 2013


TC3 adjusting to new SUNY transfer policy

State wants junior college graduates to have ‘seamless transfer’ to 4-year schools

TC3Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Tompkins Cortland Community College graduate Anna Thompson attends the college’s 2012 commencement ceremony. The college is working to adopt new SUNY standards aimed at ensuring transfer students have better academic underpinnings by meeting SUNY general education requirements.

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — The State University of New York’s push to have “seamless transfer” for community college students to SUNY four-year degree programs will cause some problems for Tompkins Cortland Community College.
But faculty have heard about it and will be meeting to work on it next fall, said Provost John Conners, especially in the general studies major, which is designed to avoid too much focus in any one academic area.
The SUNY board of trustees has approved a plan for all degree programs in community colleges to plan their course offerings so that students will take 30 credits in seven subject areas, including reading, writing and math.
The idea is for students to transfer to four-year degree programs as full juniors, by meeting SUNY general education requirements. That would put them on schedule with students who started in the four-year colleges as freshmen.
But Conners said the changes might force students to stay longer than two years at TC3.
Community colleges have been allowed to have less of the systemwide requirements in some Associate of Science, Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science programs.
“To put transfer students on an even footing with classmates who began their careers at four-year campuses, the SUNY Student Mobility Project identified parallel programs for transfer of AA or AAS degrees to state-operated campuses and the common lower division courses taken in the most highly enrolled majors,” SUNY Central said in its 2012 Master Plan.
The key courses are called SUNY transfer pathways.
Seamless transition is a key part of the system’s goal to increase percentages of students who finish on time and students who graduate.
Conners told the TC3 board of trustees on Thursday that the shift in degree requirements will be especially challenging in the general studies major.
“General studies is about exploring,” he said. “But we will address this challenge in the fall, to be ready for the fall of 2014.”
SUNY adopted the change in December.


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