Initiative will ease the path for more two-year college students to earn bachelor’s degrees
FORT WORTH, Texas – Tarrant County College District and The University of Texas at Arlington announce an innovative and collaborative partnership designed to strengthen the workforce by increasing the number of North Texans who have a college degree.
The Early Transfer Identification Program, or E-TIP, enables the two institutions to identify potential transfer students early in their academic careers, create a UTA admissions record for prospective transfer students and guide each student along a clear pathway to a college degree.
The program will streamline the UTA application process for participating TCCD students and will help them achieve an affordable four-year degree at a predictable cost. First-time-in-college students at TCC will be eligible for the guaranteed tuition plan at UTA which provides for tuition at UTA to remain at a constant rate for the four years from their start at TCC.
E-TIP is a critical component of the two institutions’ response to the state’s 60x30TX plan, which calls for at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25 to 34 to have a college degree or a certificate by 2030. Currently, about 38.5 percent of young Texans hold a degree or certificate.
“I am pleased that UTA and TCC are forging stronger partnerships to provide smooth and integrated pathways for students to complete their bachelor’s degrees through a combination of studies at our two institutions,” UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “A bachelor’s degree is increasingly needed for students to achieve their full potential and to access the economic opportunity that has long been the hallmark of our great state. Academe needs to do more to facilitate excellence and access in higher education at levels affordable to our students, and the E-TIP program provides a step in the right direction.”
Angela Robinson, acting chancellor for the Tarrant County College District, noted that fewer than 23 percent of students enrolled in a community college statewide currently advance to a four-year institution.
“Students come to Tarrant County College for many different reasons, from career enhancement to additional technical knowledge. But a large percentage of students begin their higher education journey on our campuses and will leave TCC well prepared to earn their bachelor’s degree,” Robinson said. “This new partnership will have an immediate positive impact by introducing students early to UTA, providing them a clear academic path toward degree completion and giving them the advising resources they need to succeed.”
The program also includes:
• An agreement that TCCD and UTA will regularly share relevant data about students enrolled in an associate’s degree plans to create an early UTA admission record for two-year college students. Prospective transfer students enrolled in an associate degree plan will be pre-admitted to UTA and will not need to file a separate application.
• A “reverse articulation” agreement that will ensure that appropriate UTA course credits count toward a Tarrant County College associate degree so that more students who enroll in the two-year college will earn a degree from their first institution.
• Regular office hours and meeting space for UTA admissions counselors embedded on Tarrant County College campuses to advise transfer students on degree plans and which courses will count toward an ultimate bachelor’s degree in the selected major. Admissions counselors will help prospective transfer students avoid courses that won’t count toward their major, saving money and time toward degree completion.
• A UTA-led workshop each semester for potential transfer students on each participating TCCD campus.
• An annual special UTA campus tour experience for students participating in the E-TIP program.
• A limited number of tickets to UTA special events and athletics competitions for participating E-TIP students.
The UTA-TCCD program comes as the University is renewing its emphasis on prospective, newly admitted and current transfer students. Both institutions are working to increase the number of college graduates each produces and to help students manage college costs.
UTA is Texas’ top choice for transfer students, with 5,750 new undergraduate transfer students enrolled in Fall 2015. U.S. News & World Report ranked UTA the third-largest destination in the nation for transfer students based on its 2015 survey of undergraduate programs.
About 67 percent of incoming UTA students in Fall 2015 were transfers from other four- and two-year campuses. Tarrant County College is the largest provider of transfer students to UTA each year. Almost 1,800 TCC students have transferred to UTA so far during the the 2015-2016 academic year with more enrolling for summer sessions.