The days of wasting time and money on credits that don’t transfer may soon be over.
New agreement makes transfer between Michigan colleges and universities easier
The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) goes into effect with the Fall 2014 semester and guarantees that a block of general education credits from Mott Community College will transfer to any public university in Michigan and many private institutions as well.
It is the first statewide initiative to streamline the transfer process since 1973 and will be the first ever to be received by every public school in the state.
The MTA will replace the 40-year-old Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (MACRAO) transfer agreement.
While the MACRAO agreement had various levels of participation, every four-year and two-year school in Michigan has agreed to sign on to the MTA, according to Dr. Amy Fugate, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mott Community College.
Unlike many other states, there has been no streamlined process for students in Michigan who wish to transfer, making the system inefficient for students, often wasting their time and money.
The idea for the MTA was generated by the state legislature. In 2012 the Community College Appropriations Bill included language that called for the creation of a 14-member committee to “develop a process to improve the transferability of core college courses…”
The committee was composed of five representatives from community colleges (including MCC’s Fugate), five representatives from universities and four legislators. The school representatives were chosen regionally. Its goal: to draft an agreement which no school can take exception to in the future.
It’s important to recognize what a huge accomplishment this agreement is, Fugate said.
In the first committee meeting, some of the representatives didn’t think it was a possibility for their schools, she said, but after a few more meetings they got on board.
“I think they realized that it really does make it easier for everyone,” Fugate stated.
In the last four decades, a lot of the universities have not accepted the MACRAO agreement, she said. Many MACRAO-receiving institutions have created provisos, or exceptions, to the agreement. A university might accept the agreement but require a student retake one or more of the courses any way.
The basis of the MTA is to begin with a universal agreement, so that universities will have no reason to create these provisos, eliminating the surprises and subsequent frustration for students when they are ready to transfer.
The MTA will transfer as a block, with no course-by-course transfer process, Fugate said. “This means that a significant part of your general education classes are completed.”
But while the MTA is guaranteed to transfer, universities can still require higher-level general education courses, especially those that are major-specific.
“It doesn’t preclude institutions from having additional requirements, but they cannot nit-pick at those block courses,” according to Fugate.
While it will make the process of transferring simpler, some students may find the requirements of the MTA more challenging than the MACRAO agreement.
With the MACRAO agreement, grades in all of the courses had to average at least a 2.0. In the MTA, a student must achieve at least a 2.0 in each course, Fugate pointed out.
In the MACRAO agreement, you could avoid math; in the MTA you cannot and an additional science requirement has also been added to the MTA.
Students may have to work a little harder for the new agreement, Fugate said, but they can know that it’s worthwhile because it’s guaranteed to count.
“The MTA is very good news for Mott College students,” according to Chris Engle, Registrar at MCC. “It means that students will have all of the information about what will or will not transfer up front, which they really deserve as the consumer.”
For students who have been working towards transferring with the MACRAO agreement, there will probably be some overlap before the MACRAO is eliminated. “There is still a lot of work to be done before the rollout next fall, but the committee and the schools are on track to make it happen,” Fugate said.
This Fall, life for transfer students is going to get a lot easier.