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University - Community College Partnerships

Make the transfer process easier and more traditional for both students and their core class credits.

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

People looking for a more affordable route to a degree from a great school.

The transfer process needs to be more accessible and appreciated. Students can knock out their core classes in community college and transfer to their end goal university for the more Major-specific, specialized classes. By having community college specialize in core classes, costs of tuition both there at at the university level might also decrease. 

1) Universities have programs where students can transfer into school after doing a year at a community college. Why not offer this opportunity to more students that get accepted? They can have the option to save money on tuition by electing to take their core classes at the community college and transferring them to the university.

2) For this to work, we have to change the mindset of the population, including students, faculty, and employers. It has to be a respected financial decision, and we cannot look down or discriminate them because of that choice. This path needs to be seen as a financial decision and not as a route for less intelligent people.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

-We could survey the population and get a good read on how people currently view community college transfers, and if they would be receptive to the idea. -Measure performance of current community college transfers vs. non-transfers -Find percentage of students at major universities that already transfer in many credits -Survey current college students as well as high school seniors and see if they would be (or would have been) interested in this option.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

1. Potential Employers: Could provide feedback on how you currently view community college transfer students? Would your view change if this system came to life? 2. Professors/Teachers: How receptive would the teaching population be to this idea? Would core class professors feel disrespected? As a History teacher, would you be upset about having less students, or excited about teaching only students who were passionate on the subject as their major? 3. All: How else could we test the idea?

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Photo of Curtis Leister

Dylan, I think you raise a great point on offering community college to students who are even accepted into a four year university. Intro-level college classes are often considered "weed out" 301s, at least at UT, that are offered only in large classroom environments. From my own experiences, I probably would have benefitted from smaller intro-level classes. If these classes mostly serve as just pre-requisites for upper division, wouldn't students benefit from this transfer if it were offered? 

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