By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief
ROSSVILLE, MD. — Officials from Towson University and the Community College of Baltimore County signed an agreement on Monday to create a dual enrollment pipeline that would make it easier for students attending the community college to transfer to Towson upon completion of an associate’s degree.
The initiative, known as Degrees to Succeed, will begin in fall 2023. The program will allow students to be accepted into the community college with the intention of transferring to Towson to complete a bachelor’s degree after earning their associate’s degree.
Essentially, the program will enable CCBC students to get acclimated to Towson before switching during their junior year and allow a direct admissions pipeline. It will also ensure all of the credits a student completes at CCBC will transfer over to TU and count towards the 120 credit requirement for a bachelor’s degree.
“Four-year degrees should be accessible for all students in our community, and this innovative partnership will help ensure that access and improve time-to-degree for those who wish to pursue higher education,” TU President Kim Schatzel said in a statement.
The signing, held at the community college’s Essex campus in Rossville, Md., was attended by about 20 officials from both institutions.
Schatzel said the partnership with CCBC was a logical choice as approximately 50% of TU’s undergraduate students are transfer students, with 50% of those transfers coming from CCBC.
Schatzel and Provost Melanie Perreault signed the agreement for TU, and President Sandra Kurtinitis and Provost Joaquin Martinez signed for the community college.
“This is dual admissions on steroids,” Kurtinitis said at the signing. “It’s not just your admissions that lots of people don’t even realize we have.”
Further, Kurtinitis cited CCBC’s high minority population and how this pipeline will help close the achievement gap.
“We serve way more of the most vulnerable populations who sometimes are denied opportunity just because of who they are,” Kurtinitis said. “So we’re really proud of the fact that [Towson is] going to be our partner in helping many more of these students achieve not only the associate’s degree with a bachelor’s degree.”
Boyd Bradshaw, TU’s vice president of Enrollment Management, said the program would allow students to access campus resources sooner and provide a leg up in doing so.
Students within the program will receive a TU advisor, mentor, campus card and their application fee will be waived, according to a press release. Additionally, students within the program will be eligible to apply for a $1,000 scholarship.
The campus card will give the students access to campus resources like the Albert S. Cook Library and TU sporting events.
“The goal is to get acclimated to campus,” Bradshaw said in an interview.
He said students will undergo a different, more streamlined admissions process.
As for the program’s future, Bradshaw said the university intends to expand to other community colleges within the state. In terms of funding, he said both institutions are providing money for the program; however, figures were not available by publication time Monday.