Thriving Through Transfer
The media is full of advertisements for universities—pictures of graduates hugging family members, being proud of their accomplishments, serving as role models for their children, looking for a better life for themselves and their families. These graduates should be very proud. Earning a degree takes a lot of hard work and study while rewarding the graduate with broader knowledge and experiences and more opportunities for a successful career and healthy life.
So how did that student get to be a university graduate? The journey to a degree can vary, but one great way is to start at a Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) College to earn college credit and then transfer to a four-year university. Sometimes students begin as a KCTCS dual credit student and earn college credit before they graduate from high school and transfer their credits to a KCTCS College or university. Others start their higher education at a KCTCS College and then transfer to a university. In either case, the credit earned at the community and technical college transfers directly and allows the student an excellent education from college faculty while being more affordable. More than 75% of KCTCS students receive financial aid covering their tuition and only 16% of KCTCS students take out loans. Starting your degree at KCTCS is the smart choice as you can earn the first two years of college paying the lowest tuition in the state, and then seek transfer scholarships to help you with your last two years.
Transfer—or taking college credits at one institution and transferring them to another college or university toward a degree—is a process governed in Kentucky by statute (KRS 164.2951). Students may transfer credits course for course, but the best way to transfer is to earn your associate degree and then transfer. If a student graduates with an associate in arts or associate in science from a KCTCS College, the 60 credit hours earned transfer directly to a Kentucky public university as the first two years of a four-year degree. KCTCS students are prepared to succeed at university—data shows that KCTCS graduates do better in their third year at the university than the university’s own third year students. A student may also transfer credits earned through dual credit course work at their high school (usually free to the student as the tuition is covered by a dual credit scholarship)to a different college than they earned the dual credit from.
However a student transfers, it is important to plan for that transfer and make every credit count. Good advising, often from both College and transfer university advisors, is an important part of ensuring that every class taken moves the student toward their desired certificate, diploma, or degree. While credits will transfer, other courses may have needed to be taken to earn a specific degree—courses that could have been taken instead of classes you chose. When you enroll in your college courses, be sure to take advantage of all the advising opportunities—and transfer support—at your College and at your chosen transfer institution. Another tool available are the transfer guides available at the KCTCS Transfer Partners & Guide Section on the KCTCS Transfer website. Here you can see which KCTCS degree can transfer and what classes you should take.
Another great way to learn about transfer opportunities is at the KCTCS virtual transfer fair. This week is National Transfer Student Week, and KCTCS Is celebrating “Thriving Through Transfer.” This allows students to explore opportunities and learn more about transferring as well as and meet with KCTCS transfer university partners.