A new agreement between the University of Houston-Victoria and Houston Community College will make it easier for students to earn an associate degree on their way to obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
Starting this fall, HCC students who transfer to UHV can complete their associate degree by taking UHV courses. The same classes also will count toward earning a UHV bachelor’s degree.
This marks the first reverse articulation agreement signed by UHV with a community college partner.
“This agreement not only strengthens the partnership between the University of Houston-Victoria and Houston Community College, but it also allows students to finish their associate degree either before or after transferring to UHV,” UHV President Phil Castille said. “At the end of the day, both institutions want to make it easier for students to attend college and earn degrees. With classes in Greater Houston, Victoria and online, the pathway from HCC to UHV will be a seamless transition to allow students to earn an associate degree and bachelor’s degree.”
HCC Northwest President Zachary Hodges said he appreciates the partnership with UHV.
“These types of partnerships are the future of higher education, and I am glad we are leading rather than following,” Hodges said. “Reverse articulation, sending classes back to allow students to finish their associate degree, is one more tool that will produce more graduates for the Houston area.”
With more than 55,000 students, HCC is the fourth largest community college system in the United States. HCC offers two-year academic degrees, workforce certifications, continuing education classes, adult education classes and high school dual credit courses. UHV offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and concentrations in the arts and sciences, business administration, education and human development, and nursing fields.
UHV will offer 11 classes for the first time this fall at the HCC Katy campus. The junior- and senior-level classes, along with one graduate class, will take place one afternoon or evening a week at HCC Northwest, 1550 Foxlake Drive, close to the Interstate 10 and Fry Road intersection. The courses are open to any UHV student, including HCC students who have been accepted into UHV.
HCC transfer students also have the option of taking UHV classes online or at the UH System at Cinco Ranch or UH Sugar Land, both teaching centers in Fort Bend County. Transfer students also can take classes at UHV’s main campus in Victoria.
The agreement is with the entire HCC System, so it’s not limited to students who attend HCC in Katy, said Jeffrey Cass, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. A student from any of the HCC campuses can earn their associate degree after transferring to UHV.
This agreement helps meet the overall goal of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which encourages all higher education institutions to increase the rate of student completion of programs. When community college students transfer to a four-year university without first earning an associate degree, the student is not counted as a graduate of that community college.
“As a result, graduation rates for community colleges do not always reflect the full measure of student attainment and success there,” Castille said.
Community colleges get students off to a great start in higher education, Cass said.
“It doesn’t seem fair that they don’t get credit for completion,” he said. “With this agreement in place, once the student gets enough hours at UHV, we will send HCC a transcript to see if the student has earned an associate degree.”
The number of credit hours students will need at UHV to earn an associate degree depends on when the transfer takes place and number of credit hours necessary for a specific program. Many, but not all, associate degrees require 60 credit hours.
Cass said there are several benefits for students to get an associate degree while they are on their way to earning a bachelor’s degree.
“When you have an associate degree, you qualify for certain kinds of employment,” he said. “It really can be helpful to students not only as a milestone, but also in the workforce. Sometimes the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree takes several more years, so students could qualify for more jobs if they have an associate degree in hand.”
Fall classes at UHV begin Aug. 27. For more information about how to enroll, contact the UHV Office of Admissions at 361-570-4110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.