George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are partnering to create an integrated educational experience for community college students seeking a four-year degree.
Two-year colleges have long been gateways to higher education for diverse student populations seeking flexible and affordable learning options. The current transfer model, however, often fails to successfully lead students toward bachelor degree completion.
Too few students who want a four-year degree end up receiving one. Of those attending NOVA, 80 percent enter saying they want to earn a four-year degree. But only 20 percent of those students achieve that goal after six years. This gap has implications for our regional and national economies.
There are too many transfer obstacles for most community college students. The average student loses 15 credits in transfer. While guaranteed admissions agreements secure college admission, they don’t align curricula or address the lack of clarity around prerequisites. This can lead to wasted credits and money for Virginia’s students.
ADVANCE promises to eliminate obstacles by designing seamless pathways that make it easier for students to earn their degrees. The ADVANCE program will eliminate the aggravations and obstacles of an outdated transfer “process,” and replace it with a new NOVA-Mason experience that leads students through streamlined, guided program pathways toward achievement of their educational goals. ADVANCE students will benefit from:
- A seamless partnership.
- Curricula designed to ensure all credits transfer.
- Advising services that support students at the start of their NOVA career through graduation at Mason.
- Reduced cost by eliminating extra coursework and reducing application costs.
- Co-located student services – physically and virtually.
- Peer-advising for veterans.
- Better support for active military and veterans
For Partners and Employers
Growing tomorrow’s workforce together
Mason is looking to build innovative partnerships that expand access to an affordable education for a diverse student population. Today more students are the first in their families to go to college, more are minorities; and more are adults and veterans. ADVANCE will leverage the expertise of other higher education institutions, employers, technology companies, and local government to create more opportunities for these students to succeed.
This is important for our regional and national economies: Sixty-five percent of all jobs in the nation and 67 percent of jobs in Virginia in 2020 will require postsecondary education. ADVANCE will increase expand the talent pipeline to regional jobs and prepare students for the growth industries of tomorrow.
This is important for our community: With Mason’s location in the growing Northern Virginia region, our proximity to the nation’s capital, and our ranking as a top-tier research university, it is imperative that we graduate more dynamic, creative, and collaborative thinkers who can contribute to the civic vitality of our community and the world.