Radford, NOVA sign landmark agreement
Radford University and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) signed a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement on Aug. 28 that ensures that all credits earned by students at NOVA transfer to Radford University, saving students time and money.
Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill and NOVA President Scott Ralls signed the agreement to strengthen the ongoing partnership between the two institutions.
Recap video of the Radford University and NOVA Transfer Partnership Signing
Students taking advantage of the guaranteed transfer partnership agreement will seamlessly transfer from NOVA to Radford University. The agreement stipulates that NOVA graduates will have guaranteed admission to Radford. 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.
A first-of-its-kind agreement
“We are excited about this first-of-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.”
Guaranteed transfer agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions are commonplace. In these agreements, admission is guaranteed, but the transfer of all credits is not.
“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 that 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 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.”
An example of success
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.”
COBE Dean George Low began his tenure as dean during Mendoza’s first semester at Radford University.
“She represents so well what this agreement’s potential is because of her success and being a first-generation college student,” Low said. “It is gratifying to see her represent a group of students so well.”
Creating the Pathways to Radford
“We are working on several particular programs to be very tight pathways,” said Pam Hilbert, provost of the NOVA Annandale campus. “We want our students to choose a very particular pathway so we can guide them the best way possible so they do not have to repeat courses at Radford. We want them to be well-prepared to succeed when they are at Radford.”
ACSAT Dean Orion Rogers said that the college will focus on the most popular majors first, such as biology and computer science.
“We hope that all of our degree programs will be available ultimately for NOVA students,” Rogers said. “It is going to open doors for opportunities for NOVA students’ new experiences. This agreement provides NOVA students the chance to come to Radford, work with our faculty and take advantage of our resources. We have great facilities and faculty members.”
A true team effort
Mapping the academic programs at NOVA and Radford together took the effort of countless faculty members at both institutions.
“All of the department chairs in our eight departments work extensively with the NOVA faculty to establish the pathways because the faculty control the curriculum,” Rogers said. “They did important work.”
In COBE, Dean 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 and how we can get more NOVA students to Radford to visit and how we can best implement the agreement,” Low said. “A number of people were involved from Radford and it was an enormous team effort from everyone at Radford and NOVA.”
The work is not done
“We look forward as to how we can make this increased partnership a reality and a success for both institutions, but most importantly for our students,” Hemphill said. “We are excited to welcome NOVA graduates as Highlanders. This is truly a win-win partnership for our institutions and the Commonwealth.”
The signing of the agreement represents a focus on current and future generations of students by both Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill and NOVA President Scott Ralls.
“While the agreement is signed, the work is not done,” said Chris Wade, immediate past rector of Radford University’s Board of Visitors. “Tomorrow, let’s take these words and turn them into action.”