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Jaime Braye is working on a nursing degree at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, and plans to transfer to the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville in the fall.
But Braye had reservations about making the move to a larger school.
“At first I was really scared about transferring,” she said.
It can be a confusing process to determine what courses are needed for a degree, and how the classes she’s taken at ECTC will count at a four-year institution. A meeting with an adviser can be difficult to schedule, she said.
So Braye went to a website, knowhow2transfer.org, which was launched recently by the Council on Postsecondary Education. She filled in the school she was attending, the school she would like to move to and the classes she’s taken. A list popped up of the courses she needed to complete at ECTC for her degree and how they would be accepted at another school.
Braye learned that classes she had thought might have been a wasted credit were in fact not.
“I was a lot closer than I thought I was,” she said.
The website shows how individual courses transfer and allows students to learn more about the process. It also provides information about scholarships available and contacts at the universities.
The website was part of legislation passed in 2010, sponsored by Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway.
For too long, students who transferred ended up losing a lot of credits that didn’t move with them, Rollins said. Considering the high cost of education, Rollins felt clear pathways for students needed to be available.
Starting at a community college and then transferring can be an affordable and an advantageous way to earn a degree.
“You really have a much better chance of being successful” when transferring, Rollins said.
State law is making transferring easier in other ways. General education courses taken at community colleges are required to be accepted and students who have earned an associates degree are required to be considered a junior when entering a public four-year school, according to a news release from CPE.
Right now pathways for six bachelor degrees are available, and more pathways will be added, CPE spokeswoman Sue Patrick said.
Patrick said CPE hopes that this will help in their goal to increase degree attainment in the state by easing the road to earning one.
“I think information to students is a very powerful thing,” she said.
Braye said she thinks many people stop after earning a two-year degree because it’s “confusing and scary” to move on to another school.
“I think it happens a lot,” she said.
Seeing it in black and white on the website takes some of the mystery away.
“It kind of gives you the motivation that it is possible,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.