UOPX provides community college students a pathway to a more affordable bachelor’s degree
Community college students often use an associate degree as a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree. But, for adult learners who are also working and raising a family, changes to an established routine, like switching from a community college to a university setting, can interfere with moving toward degree completion.
Staying at community college for an additional year can help ensure that no credits are lost when the time comes to transfer. To help improve the transfer process, University of Phoenix launched the new 3+1 Community College Transfer Pathway program, which provides students with access to a cost-effective and time-efficient educational opportunity, regardless of their starting point, to earn both an associate and bachelor’s degree in as little as three years.
The 3+1, as it is known around UOPX, makes it possible for students currently enrolled in Maricopa Community Colleges in Ariz., Dallas County Community College District, Houston Community College, El Camino Community College in Calif., Joliet Junior College in Ill., and Tarrant County College District in Texas to complete the equivalent of the first three years of bachelor’s degree coursework while earning a two-year associate degree at their community college and finish the final year at UOPX.
Students can transfer up to 87 eligible credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Management, Bachelor of Science in Health Management or Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
Kellie Stubblefield, UOPX director of community college strategy managers, said that what makes the University’s 3+1 Pathway Program unique is the volume of available transfer options toward degrees in the high-demand fields. The University has articulated nearly 300 associate degree programs that can be transferred toward eligible bachelor’s degrees.
“University of Phoenix’s goal is to make it easier for community college students to complete their degree and get out into the workforce. We’re really looking to get people from Point A to Point B in their education,” Stubblefield said. “We want to help them along their educational journey and provide a path toward degree completion.”
Generally, approximately 60 credits from a community college are eligible to be transferred toward a bachelor’s degree, but losing credits during the transfer process equates to loss of time and money. The 3+1 Transfer Program allows students to remain at community college for an additional year, equating to fewer credits lost during the transfer process and moving students one step closer to their goal.
Students pay the lower cost of community college tuition for the first three-fourths of their degree, then transfer to UOPX to complete the last year of their degree online. The 3+1 makes it possible for students at these participating community colleges to earn a bachelor’s degree that saves them time and money. Through the program, they can earn a bachelor’s degree for as little as $12,200 and transfer up to 87 credits toward one of the identified fields of study.
Rose Rojas, Maricopa District director for the Center for Curriculum and Transfer, said that the 3+1 agreement is very appealing to Maricopa Community Colleges students who want a smooth and affordable transfer into a bachelor’s program.
“3+1 agreements are very appealing to students who want a smooth and affordable transfer into a bachelor’s program,” Rojas said. “Students like the idea that they can stay at the community college to complete three-fourths of their bachelor’s degree.”
Any student enrolled in the participating community colleges is eligible for the program once they complete any associate degree. The program helps decrease the likelihood of having to repeat courses when transferring to a four-year institution.
The transfer pathway is intended to meet the needs of students in a variety of situations, Stubblefield said. For some, it will be an immediate path starting at a community college as a traditional freshman looking toward finishing up their degree at UOPX. It may be a student with a few years of work under his or her belt, looking to obtain a degree for career advancement, or it may be someone who wants to make a complete career shift.
“We basically align any associate degree and draw pathways that identify course-by-course how many units those students are able to transfer in,” she said.
Employees at participating community colleges may also participate in the 3+1 and are eligible to do so with additional benefits, including reduced cost for advanced degrees. Ultimately, the program will provide students with access to a cost-effective and time-efficient educational opportunity, regardless of their starting point.
“We’re always trying to be innovative to meet the demands of students,” Stubblefield said. “We want to help them along their educational journey and provide a path toward degree completion.”
Rojas agreed that the pathway will support students by removing barriers related to time, money and life balance, and also ensures the quality of education remains intact.
“When students want to maximize their transfer credit, no other articulation agreement can really compete with a 3+1,” Rojas said. “Students will leave our colleges for success in their upper-division work at the University.”
For more information, visit the 3+1 Community College Transfer Pathway Program page.