Articulation agreements are agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions on how students’ credits will transfer. This is not the same thing as simply transferring to another school. These agreements state that students who have completed specific requirements will be admitted as a transfer student. The goal is to eliminate any questions as to which classes will transfer and meet basic requirements. Ultimately, such agreements provide a smoother transition transferring from a community college to a four-year institution.
An increasing number of states have required four-year state institutions to accept specific credits for transfer from community colleges in place of articulation agreements. Virginia community colleges have established guaranteed admissions agreements with most of the state’s four-year institutions, including the University of Virginia. These policies can usually be found on the state’s higher education website.
There are also private colleges that have articulation agreements with local community colleges. These agreements allow students to attend their first two years at a community college taking specific courses and then transfer to the private school for the last two years. Depending on the agreement, the student may actually be admitted to both institutions initially and provided with a common student ID.
There isn’t any one place that lists all articulation agreements. This is why it’s important to consider your transfer plans before you even start at a community college. You should check with the community colleges to find out if they have any such agreements with four-year institutions. If you already have a four-year institution in mind, you should find out which schools, if any, they have agreements with.
Students can still transfer to a university even if it doesn’t have an articulation agreement with the student’s current school. There’s just less certainty in being admitted and how many classes will transfer.
Examples of Articulation Agreements