Radford, NOVA Sign Landmark Agreement
By Max Esterhuizen, M.S. ’15
Many Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) students can rest assured that all of their earned credits will transfer to Radford University, saving them time and money, thanks to a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement.
On Aug. 28, Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill and NOVA President Scott Ralls signed the agreement to strengthen the partnership between the two institutions.
Students taking advantage of the agreement will seamlessly transfer from NOVA to Radford University and be guaranteed admission. The agreement also allows students to fully transfer all NOVA courses described in a NOVA-RU Curriculum Pathway to meet degree requirements in a baccalaureate program at Radford University without losing any prior credits earned at NOVA.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Artis College of Science and Technology (ACSAT) and the College of Business and Economics (COBE) are participating in the Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement at launch.
“We are excited about this firstof-its-kind partnership in Virginia,” Hemphill said. “We are mindful that the increasing cost of higher education is at the forefront for our students and their families. This agreement will establish a truly seamless transfer process for NOVA students to Radford, knowing that every course they take in approved programs will count for full credit in transferring into approved Radford programs. This will save those students valuable money and time in their hard work to obtain their undergraduate degrees.”
Agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions are commonplace. In these agreements, admission is guaranteed, but the transfer of all credits is not. This Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement is different.
“That’s why this is important,” Ralls said. “It ensures that all credits transfer. We appreciate that Radford is the first guaranteed transfer partner. This agreement is all about the students we have who aspire to go to Radford. This helps students not have to make up any past ground. This will always be an important day for our institutions.”
Todd Rowley, chair of the NOVA College Board, said that community college students who transfer to a four-year institution often lose a semester’s worth of college credits.
“Today’s agreement represents a significant step toward solving a national problem,” Rowley said. “This new partnership will ensure that NOVA students who follow an outlined program of study will be able to transfer all of their earned credits toward their chosen major when they continue at Radford. They will transfer as true first-semester juniors. This saves them thousands of dollars in tuition.”
This new partnership will ensure that NOVA students who follow an outlined program of study will be able to transfer all of their earned credits toward their chosen major when they continue at Radford."
“This is a moment in time where we can help change the course of education in the Commonwealth,” said Don Strehle ’78, who serves on the Radford University College of Business and Economics Advisory Council. “It takes vision to do that.”
Giancarla Rojas Mendoza, who graduated from Northern Virginia Community College in 2014 and from Radford University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, transferred to Radford University as a true junior in 2014. After meeting a recruiter from Radford, she knew she found her college home.
“Being at Radford and NOVA helped make me strong and more confident about my skills,” Mendoza said. “This agreement will encourage more students to go to Radford and give them the best possible college experience. Radford has so many resources.”
Mapping the academic programs at NOVA and Radford together took the effort of dedicated faculty members at both institutions.
“All of the department chairs in our eight departments worked extensively with the NOVA faculty to establish the pathways because the faculty controls the curriculum,” ACSAT Dean J. Orion Rogers said. “They did important work.”
Former Dean of the College of Business and Economics George Low said that NOVA does a great job of preparing students for the coursework at Radford University.
“We talked about how we could work more closely together with faculty members, get more NOVA students to Radford to visit and to best implement the agreement,” Low said.
"We are excited to welcome NOVA graduates as Highlanders. This is truly a win-win partnership for our institutions and the Commonwealth,” said Hemphill.