In an historic ceremony held Friday, May 4 at the Uvalde campus of Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC), Texas A&M International University signed an articulation agreement with SWTJC focused on providing a smooth transition for its junior college students who are University-bound.
"This is a win-win partnership that can only underscore both institution's shared commitment to providing students with a seamless educational process that can start with a two-year program at SWTJC and end with a four-year degree at A&M International," said University president Dr. Charles Jennett.
Dr. Ismael Sosa, SWTJC president, concurred, noting that while the two may be separated by a sizable distance, they still share a mission.
"This is something that our students have asked for and something we have worked together to provide. Helping to assure that our students' transition to the University campus is smooth and consistent is a service that we are happy to work with A&M International to secure," Dr. Sosa explained.
He added that A&M International's dynamic growth, coupled with the expansion of its available majors and campus has drawn the interest of many SWTJC students pursuing Bachelor's degrees.
"With its $49.5 million Phase III expansion, 53 undergraduate or graduate degrees available and a campus that's truly a dynamic place to learn, we are finding that A&M International is figuring more and more in the higher education plans of our SWTJC students," Sosa said.
Dubbed "2+2= One Smart Start: The Transfer Program for University Bound College Students," the initiative seeks to provide a seamless transfer to A&M International by SWTJC students seeking an undergraduate degree.
"When a student signs on at SWTJC and indicates a transfer intent to A&M International, he or she can be assured that those courses will transfer and that his or her degree progress will be the same as if he or she were attending courses at A&M International," said University associate vice president for Student Affairs Mary Trevino.
Dr. Jennett noted that the signed agreement articulates transfer courses and provides an ongoing review process to adapt the agreement or accommodate exceptional cases.
"This is a dynamic process that will be directed by both institutions through a standing committee that will be empowered to review the articulation program's effectiveness and make programmatic or case-by-case changes," Jennett said.
While general in scope, the agreement 1.) permits SWTJC students who earn an associates degree to transfer previously identified courses to A&M International; 2.) identifies those courses at SWTJC that A&M International students may take that will fulfill their lower division requirements at A&M International and 3.) assures that SWTJC students completing their associate degree requirements will meet general and programmatic admission requirements at A&M International just as an undergraduate student whose entire program is taken at the University.
Using the articulation agreement signed Friday as a template, the administration and faculty of both institutions will develop more detailed articulation agreements for undergraduate degree programs covering not only the core curriculum, but also all other courses in associate degree programs.
More detailed programmatic articulation agreements may be approved in the future by the vice president for academic affairs at each institution. In all cases, the overarching goals of these agreements will be to provide students with the most convenient possible articulation between the two institutions and promote the academic quality of each program.
Both presidents concluded that the effort should win long and favorable support from students.
"Our campus is becoming the regional University of choice and this is an important service for SWTJC students that clearly signals that both institutions are interested in helping them to succeed in their higher education pursuits," Jennett noted.
"We know this represents a tremendous opportunity for our students and look forward to working with them to help their higher education dreams come true at A&M International, " Sosa said.
For additional information on "2+2= One Smart Start: The Transfer Program for University Bound College Students," please contact the Texas A&M International University Office of the Registrar at 326.2250 or the Southwest Texas Junior College Office of the Registrar at 830.591.7284.
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