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Student Needs, Aspirations in Alabama

We often hear about transfer agreements between two-year colleges and four-year universities, guaranteeing that classes taken at the former count for college credit at the latter. These agreements have resulted in more and more college students beginning their postsecondary educations at community colleges, providing a lower-cost option and the time to better determine the career paths they want to pursue.

But what if the transfer agreements worked the other way? What if students who realized their career paths were better served at a four-year postsecondary institution could have guarantees that their university courses would count at a two-year college?

Students in Alabama now have that answer, as the state’s community colleges have signed a reverse-transfer agreement with Alabama’s public universities.

The new agreement demonstrates there are many paths a student can take to earn a postsecondary degree and to pursue career aspirations. It also reminds students that no one is locked into a postsecondary decision. As financial or family considerations change or career interests develop, young people have options to do what is best for them.

It also shows that community colleges are more than just a feeder to a four-year degree. For many, a two-year degree or career training is the pathway to a successful and rewarding career, a career the individual feels passionately about.

Hopefully, other states will follow Alabama’s lead and provide strong pathways between all institutions of higher education, pathways that help students continue to pursue their interests and do what is best for them as individuals.

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