Suffolk University and the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office (MCCEO) have announced a collaborative agreement that will create a clear pathway for successful community college graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Suffolk.
Providing a “path” for students from a community college degree to a bachelor’s degree removes barriers that often create uncertainty about the transition to the accepting institution. The new policy clarifies transfer course requirements, time to completion of a degree, costs, financial aid, internship opportunities, schedule flexibility and job potential. Transfer advising and transition advising also are important features of the overall process.
“Being able to visualize the educational investment needed helps students commit to the process and empowers them to move forward with confidence,” said Suffolk University President James McCarthy. “Most importantly, they are able to ‘see’ themselves completing a bachelor’s degree.”
The agreement represents a 2+2 plan – two years at the community college and two years at Suffolk University. Suffolk is formally adopting the MassTransfer Plan as part of its admissions policies for community college transfer students and will be accepting that model’s 34 credits of core courses to fulfill general-education requirements. Under the agreement, Suffolk will admit qualified Massachusetts community college students. Those who receive an associate’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher will be eligible for a special tuition reduction.
“Although Suffolk has numerous program articulations with individual campuses, the University wants to make transfer to Suffolk a more seamless process for our qualified community college graduates,” said Gretchen Manning, deputy director of MCCEO, which advocates on behalf of the state’s 15 community colleges and the more than 190,000 students they enroll.
“In formally adopting this admissions policy, Suffolk recognizes that students from Massachusetts community colleges are well-prepared to transfer to Suffolk University and succeed here,” said Jeffrey Pokorak, vice provost for faculty development and curriculum at Suffolk University. “We are thrilled to be a pioneer among private institutions in formally adopting the MassTransfer Plan model.”
In addition to its clear community college credit-transfer policy for institutions, the agreement includes initiatives such as tuition discounts, joint grant opportunities, professional development in science education for faculty and staff, and collaborations related to student science and math research.
Because community college graduates may choose to stay close to family and friends and maintain current jobs, the University expects that transfer students will come primarily from schools that are close geographically.
Students and transfer advisers interested in learning more about Suffolk’s seamless transfer option for community college students should contact the Suffolk University Office of Admissions.