Dual Admission and Partnership between Near-By Area Community College and The State University Local Valley College

©2001 Thomas W. Speakman

edited 7/11/01

Rationale for the Proposal:

The dual admission and partnership would allow the Local Valley College to retain its market share in southeast Pennsylvania. Although the two institutions are only four miles apart, a seamless dual admission and partnership has not been initiated or developed at this time. Near-By Area Community College does have a number of dual admissions agreements with other four year colleges in the area. With five other Community Colleges within commuting distance of the Local Valley College, this partnership could serve as a model for all other Community College partnerships in the area. In addition, the transfer partnership also appropriately aligns itself with the three strategic goals of the University. The strategic goals are to:

excel in scholarship, education and university life fulfill with distinction the University's commitment to the people of the Commonwealth foster a caring University community that provides leadership for constructive participation in a diverse, multicultural world (http://w-ww.bklv.psu.edu).

Finally, the Dual Admission and Partnership will serve as a short term solution in helping the College address its change of location dilemma. The dilemma has developed as a result of too many students migrating from a PSU branch campus (Berks) up to the University Park (Main) campus. A financial penalty will be incurred by the sending campus if the campus exceeds the cap (sends too many students to University Park). As an example, for the first fifty students over the cap, the Local Valley College would be required to pay back fifty percent of each student's tuition to central State University operations.

(50 x (tuition x .50)).

This would equate to a penalty of $170,000.00. For any student beyond the number of 50 (over the cap) who transfers to Main Campus, the Local Valley College will return one hundred percent of the tuition. For example, if the College exceeded its target by 60 students, the College would be required topayback (50 x (tuition x.50) + (10 x (tuition x 1.00). This would equate to a penalty of $238,000.00. The financial incentive to attract and retain students in degree programs offered at the local campus college is quite compelling.

Literature Review on Dual Admission Partnerships: The partnership should be created because it will increase student success at Near-By Area Community College and the Berks Lehigh Valley College. According to DiMaria (1998), partnerships will improve the economic health of the region by:

1. Increased retention and degrees conferred

2. Increase minority student degree completion rates

3. Decrease transfer shock

4. Improve efficiency of transfer credits toward degree

5. Enhanced community college and university collaboration

6. Management of enrollments

a. Penn State BKLV will increase upper division enrollments

b. Limit and control change of assignment patterns to University Park Near-By Area Community College will increase its academic reputation

c. Both colleges will increase their minority, non traditional, adult learner population

In DiMaria (1998), additional advantages to the community college and four year school partnership would also include:

1. Four year schools have a qualified and identified source of students that require little recruitment effort.When students define their transfer goals early in their academic pursuit, they develop a commitment to the receiving school. The result is that there is a very high yield from a qualified student base.
2. The four year school can dispense with competing for the student population that is choosing the two year alternative. Generally, their is less competition for the students as the two- year school attempts to promote the benefits of a four year academic program and the opportunities that exist at particular four year schools.

3. The four year school can use its resources more in line with its mission and core values.One of the large drains on the four-year school's budget has been the initiation and continuance of remedial tutorial programs for the academically under qualified students who are admitted to a four year school. When aligning the Community Colleges, the four year school can re-deploy to their own mission those dollars that were devoted to placement exams, remedial courses, and tutorial programs.
4. Just as the Community colleges can benefit from correctly anticipating enrollment, the four year school will benefit from an informed prospective of what students will be entering the doors.

5. When the college or university admits better prepared students it reduces attrition. Generally, students who are well prepared and who enter the junior year of a four-year program achieve the four-year degree as planned. The transfer admissions agreement between two-year and four-year schools has done much to reduce attrition and to increase persistence rates at the four year receiving school.

6. Just as the faculty at the Community Colleges enjoy a more focused highly motivated student body, so does the faculty at the four year receiving school.
Implementing the Dual Admission and Partnership:

Essential to the success of the collaborative alliance would be the active involvement of both Colleges' Board and Executive Leadership. As mentioned in class, faculty support and participation are also very critical. The steps in this partnership would include:

1. Collaboration of Boards and Executive Leadership from Nearby Area Community College and State University

2. The creation of a Memorandum of Understanding
drafted concurrently by the President of Near-By Area Community college and the Dean and CEO of the Local Valley College. The Memorandum of Understanding is without a doubt, the first and most critical step in this process, as it creates and fosters a spirit of can also serve as a guide for future transfer alliances.

3. The collaboration of academic program coordinators and division leaders. The academic leadership will need to support and develop appropriate resources which may include: faculty and staff release time, compensatory time and a lightened course load.

4. The collaboration of faculty. The Local Valley College currently offers eight baccalaureate degrees, each under the leadership of an academic program coordinator. The Near-By Area Community College offers six transfer associate degree programs that would closely align with the baccalaureate offerings at the Local Valley College. Therefore it is most critical that faculty cooperation be a part of the Memorandum of Understanding.

Faculty participation will be encouraged by: compensating the Berks Lehigh Valley program coordinators that interact with the Community College faculty and by lessening the program coordinators teaching responsibilities. The cooperation of the faculty will also help facilitate the:

a. evaluation of community college transfer credits

b. development of unified core to core curriculum guides

c. accelerate students existing in non linear track programs

d. improve academic performance

5.Development of a Marketing Plan The Berks Lehigh Valley College Office of University Relations and Publications would collaborate with the Public Relations Department of the Near-By Area Community College to develop an initial plan including: radio, newspaper and television advertising. Future publications would consist of transfer brochures and newspaper advertising.

6.Creation of a full-time Transfer Counselor position at the Berks Lehigh Valley College: The hiring of a full-time admissions counselor will allow Penn State Local Valley College to:

a. Help the Community College student to develop a "sense of community" at the four year college before transferring.

b. Develop pro-active collaborative recruitment strategies through monthly visits

to the community college

c. Develop an appropriate follow-up and tracking system for prospective transfer students. Creation of a Dual Admissions Agreement.

d. Develop appropriate Transfer Open House programs for the fall and spring transfer co- hort

e. Provide appropriate advising and counsel for students offered admission prior to transferring.

f.Develop an orientation day specifically for transfer students during the fall and spring semester.

g. Collaborate with faculty and program coordinators in the development of appropriate curriculum guides.

h. Develop an appropriate mentoring plan.

i. Collaborate with the University Relations and Publications Department in order

to develop a transfer student web site, brochure and advising notebook.

j. Interact with Orientation leaders to help develop an orientation segment specific for transfer students.


With the increase in its upper division enrollments, the Berks Lehigh Valley College will need to address the need for appropriate support services.

1. Development of appropriate Support Services
a. Advising Center
b. Wellness Center
c. Career and Internship Center

Curriculum Development and Theory

The transfer alliance with two academic institutions is modeled after the Research, Development, and Diffusion Curriculum Model. The model was first proposed by Clark and Guba and later, in similar forms, by numerous other curriculum writers, (Marsh&Willis, 1995). It has become the classical model for large-scale curriculum development projects. The Research Development and Diffusion model assumes that changing the curriculum is an orderly, planned sequence in which experts assist in identifying a problem, finding a solution, and then diffusing (or, more accurately in many cases, disseminating) that solution. The new curriculum, like a highperformance product is planned, carefully designed and tested, and may be widely adopted, both nationally and internationally. Comprehensive surveys of potential users may be undertaken prior to the development of the curricular products. Hence, emphasis in this model falls on producing a uniform, high quality innovation that can be duplicated, rather than trying to accommodate the interests and wishes of each individual college and university. The Research, Development, and Diffusion Curriculum Development Model aligns itself very appropriately developing Trans fer/Articulation Agreements.

The construct of the Dual Admission Partnership also addresses many of the concerns and expectations related to the pre and post transfer student experiences. In Hills(I 965), Community College students experience a "transfer shock" when relocating at the four year institution. "Transfer Shock" is a term coined by Hills(1965) to describe the cultural adjustments experienced by transfer students, who report that four year universities have a different institutional culture than community colleges. This culture may be less personal, more research oriented and less student centered, more likely to emphasize selectivity than equal access and which assumes that transfer students do not need special assistance because they have already had collegiate experience. The "Transfer Shock" is usually followed by a "transfer dip" which is a drop in the G.P.A. experienced by transfer students during their first semester of the four year institution. It should be noted that this initial drop in G.P.A. is typically followed in subsequent semesters by a return to the students pre-transfer level of academic performance. Research on transfer students also indicates that their academic performance in upperdivision coursework usually equals or exceeds that of native students(DiMaria, 1998). Considerable research has investigated the academic performance of community college transfer students at four-year institutions in the 1990's. (Best &Gehring, 1993; Keeley &House, 1993; Preston, 1993; Soltz, 1992) have all completed studies showing a decline in grade point average during the first semester at a four-year institution. Recent studies have also reported that community college transfer students experienced academic dismissal or failure rates between 18 and 22 percent at the conclusion of their first semester at a four-year at a four-year institution (Baldwin, 1994; Graham & Hughes, 1994). Moreover, Graham and Dallarn (1986) found that in comparison to continuing native students, community college transfers were more likely to be placed on academic probation as a result of their first semester GPA's at the four year insitution.

Lastly, there are well over one hundred studies that have focused on the retention issues of traditional aged students. Vincent Tinto's 1975 model of student attrition and retention appears to be the most widely accepted model in the research literature. Tinto's model of student attrition is a longitudinal oriented model that is centered primarily on the concept of academic and social integration. In essence, Tinto's model suggests that the decision to continue or drop out can be seen as a process in which an individuals characteristics influence interaction with the social and academic systems, resulting in a degree of integration, which in turn will leads to the decision to persist or withdraw. For Tinto, the more a student interacts with the institution, the more likely the student will be committed to staying at the institution. The Dual Admission and Partnership I have proposed is designed longitudinally, so as to engage the student academically and socially across the academic continuum.

Proposal Start Up Costs: The total start up costs including the Marketing Campaign, hiring of an Admissions Transfer Counselor, Office, Office Supplies, Faculty release time for the first two years would be $102,000.00. If the Berks Lehigh Valley College was able to attract ten students from Near-By Area Community College for two years, the tuition revenues would amount to $1400,000.00.

Conclusion: The Dual Admission and Partnership proposal will allow the Local Valley College to realize a significant increase in upper division enrollments, generate upper division tuition revenues, increase retention rates, increase minority student enrollments, and increase adult learner enrollments. It will also serve as a guide for future dual admission partnerships, and allow the College to avoid the financial penalties issued by central University administration.


Baldwin, A. (1994). Indicators of the university success of associate degree recipients in the fields of business, computer science, and engineering. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, (1), pg. 113-128.

Bauer, K. & Bauer, P. (1994) Community college as an academic bridge: academic and personal concerns of community college students before and after transferring to a four year institution. College and University,69,(l),pg. 116-122.

Best, G.A., & Gehring, D.D. (1993). The academic performance of community college transfer students at a major state university in Kentucky. Community College Review, 21,(2), 3 2-4 1.

DiMaria, J. (1998) Creating model partnerships that help attract and retain students. Agreements between two year and four year colleges. Eric Document ED 424 888.

Graham, S.W., & Dallam, J. (1986). Academic probation as a measure of performance: Contrasting transfer students to native students. Community/Junior College Quarterly of Research and Practice, 10, pg. 23-34.

Graham, S. W., & Estrada, D. (1994). Moving down the road: Community college students' academic performance at the university. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 18, pg. 449-464.

Hills (1965) Transfer shock: The academic performance of the junior college transfer. The Journal of Experimental Education,(33), pg. 144-147

Keeley, E.J., & House, J.D. (1993, May). Transfer Shock revisited: A longitudinal study of transfer academic performance. Paper presented at the Annual forum of the Association for Institutional Research, Chicago, IL. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 357 774)

Marsh, C. & Willis, G. (1995) Curriculum, Alternative Approaches, Ongoing issues. Prentice Hall Publishers: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Preston, D.L.(1993). Interfacing two-year and four year transcripts for transfer students. Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research, Chicago, IL. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 360 017)

Soltz, D.F.(1992). JCCC transfer students: Their destinations and achievements. Overland Park, KS: Johnson County Community College Office of Institutional Research. (ERIC Document Production Service No. ED 354 022).

Tinto, V. (1987). Leaving College: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. (I" edition) Chicago: University Press.