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4/27/2010 - Jackson, Miss.

Beginning in the fall, elementary education majors will be able to transfer to one of Mississippi’s eight public universities with 62 guaranteed hours after completing coursework at a community and junior college.

The new articulation agreement approved by chief academic officers and elementary education administrators and advisors at both two- and four-year institutions is a “major achievement,” Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds said.

“This agreement could positively impact our graduation rates and put more qualified teachers in our K-12 classrooms,” he said. “Meeting the state’s needs depends on meeting students’ needs at our postsecondary institutions.”

In March, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) approved a new policy guaranteeing the IHL core curriculum – 30 total hours – to transferring students who receive an Associate of Arts from a community college. This agreement builds on that policy to secure major course credits for students; it does not include developmental or technical courses.

More than 1,670 students majoring in elementary education – the most popular transfer major – transferred from a community college to a public four-year institution in fall 2009.

Committees are working now to secure guaranteed hours in business administration and physical education – the next two most popular majors. This work may be completed as soon as August.

Dr. Reginald Sykes, IHL Assistant Commissioner of Community and Junior College Relations, said eventually, individual committees will form articulation agreements for each major to ensure students are receiving credit for courses they take at the community colleges.

“We are working carefully with department chairs and academic advisors at every level to communicate this new agreement to students,” Dr. Sykes said.

For more information or to view a list of the guaranteed course hours, click here.


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