Agreement allows community college students to transfer to College

The College is in the process of signing a transfer articulation agreement with the County College of Morris (CCM) that will allow engineering students at the community college to transfer to the College and earn a four-year degree.

The agreement will give more New Jersey students an opportunity to study engineering at the College.

“We want to work with the county colleges and give other students the opportunity to come to one of the best engineering programs around,” George N. Facas, dean of the school of engineering, said.

According to Facas, students enrolled at CCM, as well as Camden, Middlesex and Ocean County Colleges in Fall 2005 will be able to take advantage of the new transfer program. Similar agreements with Raritan Valley Community College and Brookdale Community College are also in the works.

Upon going through the application process and meeting all the deadlines, students at CCM with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their associate science or engineering program will now be guaranteed admission to the engineering program at the College upon receiving their associate degrees, according to Facas.

“We have developed correspondence sheets to review the courses that the county colleges offer in order to compare them to the courses we offer,” Facas said.

An equivalent curriculum is established so that the transfer students can receive credit for the courses they’ve already taken at community college. This may cause questions to arise as to how successfully these transfer students will adjust.

“We don’t know the intensity of the programs at these community colleges,” Mahfuja Begum, junior mechanical engineering major, said.

In addition, some feel that the few requirements of this transfer program are not sufficient. “I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but they should have some other criteria to get in, other than having a 3.0 at a community school,” Tarik Zunic, junior mechanical engineering major, said. “Because community schools aren’t as tough academically, these students may not necessarily be ready for (the College’s) academic program.”

Facas argues that the students enrolled in this program are highly qualified and the record shows that they will do well at the College.

According to Venancio L. Fuentes, department chair of Engineering and Technology Science at CCM, engineering students from the county college have compiled an impressive record of success over the past 30 years, leaving little doubt as to whether they can handle the adjustment of transferring to a four-year school.

“(The College’s) programs are very demanding, but I’m confident that our students will succeed at (the College) as they do in other rigorous programs,” Fuentes said. “For example, we have an articulation agreement with Rutgers College of Engineering and based on data we have received from Rutgers as well as other institutions, our students complete their programs in two years and maintain their GPA, a strong indicator that they have been well prepared.”

The new transfer program applies to all engineering degrees offered at the College. A bachelor of arts in biomedical engineering is also offered.