Texas A&M University-Commerce and Tyler Junior College have formally announced their partnership to simplify the transfer process for students transitioning from associate degree programs at Tyler Junior College into bachelor’s degree programs at A&M-Commerce. The statement came on Dec. 19.
The three-year partnership goes into effect Dec. 20, 2013, and will allow Tyler Junior College students to complete their four-year degrees through A&M-Commerce via online courses, on-campus classes or a combination of the two.
Tyler Junior College students following the recommended program of study, common core and transfer curriculum, or who have earned an associate degree and meet all other admissions requirements, will automatically receive admission to A&M-Commerce in order to begin work toward their bachelor’s degrees. Scholarships specific to the partnership will be available to transferees.
“What we’re able to do today is expand opportunities with degrees that have normally not been transferrable,” said Tyler Junior College President Mike Metke. “Our graduates are very lively, and they like to get promotions. This creates a new pathway, and it’s a very clear pathway, to a four-year degree.”
Students who transfer to A&M-Commerce before they complete their core curriculum will be awarded transfer credit for each core class completed and will be eligible to receive an associate degree upon transfer to A&M-Commerce.
By applying at the beginning of their second year, Tyler Junior College students may secure dual admission status with A&M-Commerce. Students transferring for dual enrollment under the partnership agreement must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum of 31 semester credit hours of core courses, including MATH 1314, ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302. There may be additional requirements for specific programs. A&M-Commerce will accept up to 90 semester credit hours from Tyler Junior College. Representatives of both institutions will meet annually to share course information and to update equivalencies and admissions requirements.
“One of the common denominators of these two institutions is that they have been able to offer a college education to first-generation students throughout all of East Texas,” said Timothy Meads, senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch in Tyler. “If it were not for Tyler Junior College and A&M-Commerce, there are literally thousands of high school graduates who probably would not have gone on to get college degrees. With this relationship, it is going to be the expectation that students are going to pursue their bachelor’s degrees.”
Dual enrollees of A&M-Commerce and Tyler Junior College will be considered students of both schools, and Tyler Junior College students will have access to A&M-Commerce facilities, such as the libraries and computer workstations, to enhance their success.
The partnership’s financial incentive provides that Tyler Junior College graduates who enroll for six semester hours this spring will receive $1000 scholarships, courtesy of A&M-Commerce alumni in Smith County. Students who enroll in 15 semester credit hours and who meet certain academic criteria will be eligible for general transfer scholarships ranging between $1000 and $2000 per year.
Meads, an alumnus of A&M-Commerce, says that the university paved a path for his success and provided the environment for building lifelong relationships. Meads says that the partnership between A&M-Commerce and Tyler Junior College will afford Tyler Junior College students those same opportunities.
“This will encourage individuals to continue the friendships and relationships they’ve established in the first two years as if they were always in a four-year college,” Meads said. “This is a great opportunity for staying with those people you’ve become close to and want to continue the college experience with.”
In continuing their college experience through this partnership, A&M-Commerce President Dan R. Jones says that Tyler Junior College students will broaden the scope of opportunity for their careers.
“If you want to advance and achieve your full potential in management and leadership positions, the four-year degree is absolutely a requisite,” Jones said. “And this is the type of program that will multiply out in concentric circles and will create many more templates for success.”
For more details on A&M-Commerce’s partnership with Tyler Junior College, please visit www.tamuc.edu/Money4TJCgrads.