A recent joint articulation agreement between Coastal Bend College and The University of Texas-Pan American has been signed to allow easier access to higher education for students in South Texas.
The agreement will encourage CBC students who normally would not earn a bachelor's degree to further their studies at UTPA.
CBC students now have the option to dually enroll in both institutions and benefit from a variety of student services, including student degree programs and scholarship planning.
Dr. John Edwards, UTPA vice president of Enrollment and Student Services, said the agreement will help when students begin to transfer courses into one of UTPA's 50 undergraduate degree programs.
"We'll have a degree plan on file at the University while the student is taking courses at CBC," he said.
"This way, the students will know that the courses they are taking here will count and transfer toward a bachelor's degree at UT Pan American."
CBC President Dr. John Brockman noted the state-mandated core curriculum has virtually paved the way for CBC students who transfer to four-year institutions.
"Our students encounter very little problems when they transfer courses," he said. "This agreement will work to enhance individual student success."
In addition, students from CBC will have the opportunity to apply for two transfer scholarships provided through the Phi Theta Kappa alumni organization.
The presidents of both institutions also acknowledged the state's concern over the lack of students enrolled in post-secondary education.
"We hope to remove some of the roadblocks that keep our students from seeking higher educational opportunities," Brockman said.
UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez said Texas needs half a million more students at the post-secondary level.
"Most of this growth will occur at community colleges," said Nevárez. "What four-year universities need to do is form partnerships with community colleges."