Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Yes, Virginia, CC Students Do Transfer

According to the Chronicle, the state (commonwealth?) of Virginia is considering a pretty comprehensive plan to encourage in-state high school grads to use community colleges as feeders to the four-year colleges.

The grant program, proposed by two leading lawmakers, would allow qualifying transfer students to pay the same tuition and fees at public four-year institutions that they paid at a community college. Each student who transfers to an in-state private college after graduating from a community college would initially receive a voucher worth about $2,150 a year.

The measure is part of a broader effort to encourage more students to start their college careers at two-year colleges, a shift that lawmakers estimate would help accommodate an expected 20-percent to 25-percent increase in college enrollment in the state over the next six years.

Obviously, the devil is in the details. That said, I like the overall idea.

Apparently, students have to graduate cc's with 3.0 or better GPA's. Their credits will carry over, and the students will be allowed to finish their four-year degrees at cc tuition rates.

This strikes me as a good idea on a number of levels.

All of that said, I foresee a few complications:

Those complications granted, though, I like it overall. Unlike, say, Wisconsin's plan to use higher ed as a sort of roach motel for its talented youth, this plan respects the ambitions of its target group. It offers an option, which the residents would be free to take or leave. And it makes the higher echelons of college seem like live options to the students for whom it might now seem out of reach. Good thinking, Virginia.

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