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Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers
munication and cooperation between transfer partners in pursuit of the same goal—the seamless transfer of community college engineering science students to four-year engineering programs and their attainment of a B.S. or advanced engineering degree.
Conclusion 2-3 Second-level articulation requires a culture in traditional engineering programs of focusing on the retention of engineering students, including transfer students, by providing a supportive educational environment.
Conclusion 2-4 Students who complete the A.S. degree before transferring are most likely to complete an engineering program and receive a bachelor’s degree. Students who do not take enough engineering courses and transfer too soon often run into problems and are less likely to complete a degree. Data presented by a representative of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at the workshop show that the persistence rate of transfer students is positively correlated with earning an A.S. degree prior to transferring.
Conclusion 2-5 Course-by-course articulation systems may discourage students from completing the A.S. degree for two reasons: (1) they see no benefit in completing a degree that includes courses that are not required at the four-year school and are, therefore, not accepted upon transfer; and (2) faculty members at the four-year college may tell them they do not need some courses to transfer. A block transfer agreement that gives premium transfer credits for completing the A.S. degree might encourage students to stay the course until graduation from two-year programs.
Conclusion 2-6 Uniformity between two-year engineering science curricula and lower-division courses at four-year engineering programs is desirable but not sufficient for seamless transfers of community college students. A minority of community college representatives at the workshop argued that articulation agreements should be more flexible—i.e., community colleges should not be expected to match their curricula exactly to four-year engineering programs. The committee concludes that greater flexibility, without compromising standards, could be achieved by ensuring that engineering pedagogy is less course driven and more outcomes based.