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CCCCD And SMU Sign Concurrent Student Agreement

CCCCD And SMU Sign Concurrent Student Agreement

New program smoothes transfer into SMU from CCCCD

FEB. 15, 2002 - Higher education opportunities in Collin County have expanded with a unique agreement between a Texas private university and community college to facilitate the student transfer process. The presidents of Collin County Community College District and Southern Methodist University formalized a concurrent student agreement today during a 2 p.m. ceremony at CCCCD's Spring Creek Campus, 2800 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano.

"A concurrent admission process brings significant advantages to CCCCD students," said Cary A. Israel, CCCCD president. "Students in Collin County will have direct access to one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. This agreement will clear the path for students who are working toward their bachelor's degrees, often reducing the time to graduation and removing obstacles encountered when transferring courses to a university. I applaud the foresight and vision of both SMU and CCCCD in signing this agreement."

"Through the years, many strong transfer students from Collin County Community College have graduated from SMU," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "We are pleased to adopt this program which will broaden opportunities for even more students to benefit from an SMU education and will ease the transition process. These students will enrich our student body and strengthen the talent pool of the entire Metroplex by continuing their studies in Dallas."

According to the agreement, CCCCD students may apply to become concurrent students at the beginning of their first year of study at CCCCD and transfer to SMU after their first or second year of study, provided they meet certain academic requirements, follow SMU's curriculum guidelines and comply with all SMU admission requirements. The agreement limits the transferable credit hours to a maximum of 62. In addition, concurrent students will have the opportunities of access to SMU events and university libraries while studying at CCCCD.

SMU currently serves a significant transfer student population. In fall 2001, students from community colleges made up 12 percent of SMU undergraduate enrollment. Of the CCCCD students that have transferred to SMU since 1998, 60 percent entered as sophomores, 20 percent as juniors and 20 percent as first-year students. Thirty percent of CCCCD transfer students at SMU pursue degrees in business, 25 percent in humanities and sciences, 11 percent in arts and communications, and 8 percent in engineering. This new agreement will help identify additional CCCCD students who have the potential to succeed at SMU and complete their degrees.

CCCCD broke ground two years ago when it created the concurrent admissions concept in Texas by signing its first concurrent admissions agreement with the University of North Texas. This initial agreement was quickly followed by another signing with the University of Texas at Dallas. Another innovative agreement was reached with Texas A&M University-Commerce in August 2001, which awards nine semester hours of graduate credit to students enrolled in CCCCD's Teacher Certification Program. CCCCD was the first community college in the nation to offer teacher certification. Both the University of North Texas and Texas A&M University-Commerce offer classes on CCCCD campuses.

"We are dedicated to providing quality, higher education to the students of Collin County. The concurrent student agreement with SMU ensures that our students will have access to some of the most competitive, upper-division programs in the nation," said Sam Roach, chairman of the CCCCD Board of Trustees. "This is an exciting day for our college and county."

Founded in 1911, SMU is a private, comprehensive university with an enrollment of about 10,000 students and a full-time faculty of 520. SMU offers undergraduate programs in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Meadows School of the Arts, Edwin L. Cox School of Business, the School of Engineering and the Division of Education and Lifelong Learning. Graduate and professional programs are offered in these schools and in the Perkins School of Theology and Dedman School of Law.

At SMU, transfer students from CCCCD will enjoy the benefits of a university devoted to a total collegiate experience of the highest quality, studying in small classes with faculty who are known for excellence as both teachers and researchers. Numerous SMU professors are internationally known scholars who have won patents for their research inventions, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences or have been recognized with membership in the new Academy of Distinguished Teachers at SMU.

SMU academic programs in areas such as business and the arts are internationally ranked. New facilities for engineering, the life sciences, student services, athletics, and art are further enhancing the SMU experience. In addition, SMU offers opportunities for leadership development, interaction with world leaders who visit campus and more than 150 student organizations.

Collin County Community College District serves more than 32,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines. CCCCD's faculty include the 2001 U.S. Professor of the Year, an award presented by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and USA Today, and four Minnie Stevens Piper Professors, one of Texas' highest honors bestowed upon college and university professors. CCCCD's theatre and dance programs rank nationally and the Learning Communities and Service Learning programs are the recipient of the national Bellwether Award. CCCCD offers students a comprehensive college experience and presents a wide array of cultural and athletic events, art exhibits and a guest lecture series. Among this academic year's guest lecturers was Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug. In addition, CCCCD is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.