UHV, Alvin CC partner to put bachelor’s degree in reach of more students
Community college students can more easily earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston-Victoria, thanks to a new expansion of its partnership with Alvin Community College.
On Feb. 17, the institutions updated their partnership agreement to allow ACC students completing an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal to transfer those credits to UHV and apply them toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Legal Assistance and Administration.
“This expansion makes the process more seamless for students to transfer credits so they do not have to wonder which courses they will have to take at UHV and which ones will transfer,” said Karla DeCuir, UHV senior director of enrollment management and external affairs, noting this pathway benefits students pursuing careers in the legal field and criminal justice.
The partnership already ensured that ACC students completing an Associate of Applied Science in Process Technology could apply their associate degree credits toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Petroleum Technology.
For both degree pathways, students who have successfully completed their lower-division courses at Alvin Community College can then complete the respective bachelor's degree program at UHV by finishing about 1.5 years of additional coursework online.
“UHV is proud to expand our partnership with Alvin Community College to better meet the needs of students,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “Opportunities for students to pursue a higher education are instrumental to helping them achieve success. This partnership is a welcome step to make higher education more convenient and attainable for students.”
Students following these pathways are able to more affordably complete an associate and bachelor’s degree and are eligible for scholarships at both institutions, DeCuir said. The partnership also allows students to have concurrent enrollment, enabling them to use financial aid awards and be enrolled at both institutions simultaneously.
“It’s ideal for many students because by the time they finish their associate degrees, they typically have jobs,” DeCuir said. “They are able to continue their studies at UHV by taking classes online while working fulltime. Another benefit is that before they even enroll at UHV, we offer free advising to Alvin Community College students interested in finding out if a pathway to a bachelor’s degree is right for them.”
Leaders of Alvin Community College emphasize how the partnership encourages community college students to continue their educational journey.
“I am excited to fully support our updated agreement with University of Houston-Victoria,” said Robert Exley, president of Alvin Community College. “UHV is an excellent institution and our partnership truly benefits our students by providing an excellent opportunity for completion of their undergraduate studies.”
UHV’s partnership with ACC formed in October 2019 and is an outgrowth of UHV’s commitment to expanding access to higher education, which is important to educational leaders statewide, DeCuir said.
“Texas is working on becoming more competitive globally, and one thing it needs to become more competitive is for more of its population to have post-secondary education credentials,” she said.
Presently, less than half of people living in Texas have a degree, she said, so a goal of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is to increase that number to 60 percent by 2030.
Though an associate degree is a post-secondary credential, the job market has become more competitive, and a bachelor’s degree is often a minimum requirement for a job position.
“A partnership such as this one allows students to expand their career options while increasing their earning potential,” she said.
ACC students who are interested in learning more about transferring credits for these degree programs and setting an appointment with a UHV adviser may visit www.uhv.edu/transfer.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.
Staci Semrad, Special to UHV