If your child is beginning college at a community college or other two year institution, you may hear college officials talk about having an Articulation Agreement with one or more four year institutions. An Articulation Agreement is an officially approved agreement between two institutions, which allows a student to apply credits earned in specific programs at one institution toward advanced standing, entry or transfer into a specific program at the other institution.
An Articulation Agreement can have several advantages for the student. It matches coursework between schools and so helps students make a smooth transition from one institution to another by minimizing duplication of coursework. If a community college, for instance, has an Articulation Agreement with a four year institution, the student will know that if he takes the appropriate courses at the community college then those courses will transfer for credit at the four year college. Some Articulation Agreements arrange for the accepting institution to accept the entire Associate’s Degree without question.
Articulation Agreements are between institutions and do not require the student to make individual arrangements. They are specific, formal, written agreements – agreed to and signed by both colleges. They may be updated often, so checking the college websites and admissions offices is important. Requirements can vary depending on the particular Agreement and can sometimes go across state lines.
If your student’s initial college has an Articulation Agreement with another institution, it will make your student’s transfer of coursework and credits much easier. However, an Articulation Agreement is not necessary to transfer to another institution. A transfer that does not involve an Articulation Agreement may take more investigating and even negotiating on the part of your student, and may in some cases require the student to repeat a course, but many types of transfer can be arranged.
If your student is considering beginning her college career at a two year institution of any kind, suggest that she ask the admissions office for information about any possible Articulation Agreements. A good Articulation Agreement may be a strong factor in choosing the best college to attend.