Radford, New River Community College build upon existing partnership and expand opportunities for current and future students

Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, left, signs the pathway agreement with NRCC President Pat Huber, right.
Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., left, signs the pathway agreement with NRCC President Pat Huber, Ph.D., right.

New River Community College (NRCC) and Radford University signed a transfer agreement that allows students to fully transfer all NRCC courses described in the NRCC-RU Curriculum Pathway to meet degree requirements of the baccalaureate program at Radford University without losing any prior credits earned.

At the start of the pathway agreement, psychology, criminal justice, graphic design and studio art are participating. Pathways for social work, business, education and information technology are currently underway with more programs added over time.

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. Research shows that transfer students lose an average of 13 credit hours. Radford’s agreement with NRCC guarantees the transfer of all credits earned by a student, saving  time and money as students pursue baccalaureate degrees.

“Radford University is truly prepared to welcome graduates of this great institution,” said Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “We are committed to working with these students as they continue to pursue baccalaureate degrees at our institution.”

Building upon an already strong partnership

On Aug. 3, 2017, President Hemphill visited NRCC President Pat Huber, Ph.D., less than a month into her tenure. At that visit, President Hemphill mentioned enhancing the already strong relationship between the two institutions. This meeting was the beginning of a clear pathway for students to succeed at NRCC and Radford University. Work on the transfer pathways agreement began that October.

“Our college has shared a positive transfer relationship with Radford for many years,” President Huber said. “Today marks a new energy and a new focus for our relationship. Our signing today marks a partnership that runs much deeper than students transferring from one institution to another.”

Historically, NRCC is the top source of transfer students for Radford University, with an average of 120 students transferring into Radford University each fall.

NRCC President Pat Huber, Ph.D, left, and Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., right, officially unveil the Highlander Hub at NRCC.

NRCC President Pat Huber, Ph.D., left, and Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., right, officially unveil the Highlander Hub at NRCC.

“I hope this is a step forward in looking at how we expand that pipeline and expand this partnership,” President Hemphill said. “Our partnership will take a bold step forward today – not only for our institutions – but also for the Commonwealth and future generations of students. We appreciate the opportunity to be here today, and we are excited about what this guaranteed partnership means for both institutions moving forward.”

Shining examples

Madison Miller, of Christiansburg, Virginia, is a current NRCC student that is transferring into Radford University in fall 2019 as a junior.

Miller found her passion as a junior in high school – photojournalism. She wanted to pursue that passion, but she was nervous about the college experience. Part of the new agreement is to ease the transition to college – both at New River and when transferring to Radford University.

“New River was the perfect place for me to start my academic journey,” she said. “It was a great transition out of high school. I remember being so nervous to start college, but New River made that an easy experience.”

Radford University Guaranteed Transfer Partnership with New River Community College

Madison Miller speaks at the signing ceremony.
Madison Miller speaks at the signing ceremony.

Miller said that she is looking forward to the transition into Radford University and the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Even though I have loved my time at New River, I am confident that Radford University is the perfect place for me to start phase two of my academic journey,” Miller said. “I’ll miss New River Community College, but I am excited to start my new journey at Radford University studying visual communication.”

Officer Austin Cox NRCC ’12, Radford ’14 is a police officer for the Radford City Police Department and assigned to special service with the United States Marshals.

From Pulaski, Officer Cox said that choosing New River was an easy choice for him. While at NRCC, he received an associate’s degree in police science and in forensic science.

“Going to a big college scared me,” he said. “New River definitely helped me with that transition. Coming here, I took specific classes in forensic science and criminal justice to transfer into Radford. It was a stepping stone, a building block.”

Officer Cox was able to transfer to Radford University without losing any credits, which is the foundation upon which the pathways agreement builds.

“I was able to take some specific classes of interest that have helped me further my career, such as investigations and emergency management,” Officer Cox said. “In my career, all these classes and all these experiences have helped me get the job I want.”

Officer Cox’s bachelor’s degree afforded him the opportunity to work with the United States Marshals just a few years after graduation.

Engagement leads to success

After the signing of the NRCC-RU Curriculum Pathway Agreement, President Hemphill and President Huber met in the Highlander Hub on NRCC’s campus for a ribbon cutting, officially opening the space that will serve as a location for students to gather information on Radford University and meet fellow students interested in transferring, easing the transition.

“This partnership focuses on students feeling at home when they leave us and transfer to Radford,” President Huber said. “The transition is seamless for students not only academically, but also emotionally. Feeling engaged leads to success.”

Apr 9, 2019
Max Esterhuizen