Community Colleges Can Prepare Students to Earn Bachelor's Degrees

By Catherine Groux
Posted February 02, 2012 08:34 AM

Many people believe earning an associate's degree is an important benchmark.
Many people believe earning an associate's degree is an important benchmark.
Some schools offer dual associate's and bachelor's degree programs, which allow students to earn an associate's degree at a community college, then transfer to a partner four-year school to apply those credits toward a bachelor's.

For example, Rutgers University has partnerships with 19 local community colleges so that select students can transfer to the university to pursue a bachelor's credential after they earn an associate's degree, the school's website states.

Many academic experts feel these programs are important, as earning an associate's degree is a significant benchmark for students, giving them a sense of accomplishment that may encourage them toward success at the bachelor's level. The University of Wyoming recently announced that it has seen the benefits of earning an associate's before a bachelor's degree, according to The Associated Press.

Mike Massie, special assistant to the university president, said they have found that community college students who transfer to the school after earning an associate's degree do as well as students who attend the University of Wyoming from the beginning of their academic careers.

"[Community colleges] provide good preparation for students who eventually want to go on and get a four-year degree," Massie said. "Students are not penalized, in other words, for going to a community college."

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