On March 8, NOVA President Scott Ralls and Marymount University (MU) President Matthew Shank signed a guaranteed transfer partnership agreement that will allow students to continuously benefit from low tuition and ease of transfer between the two institutions.
The Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement lays the foundation for collaboration designed to provide a seamless transfer of NOVA graduates to MU. The partnership represents another important step forward in containing the cost of degree completion. The agreement stipulates the criteria under which NOVA graduates are guaranteed admission to MU and describes curricular benefits that will exceed those contained in the existing Guaranteed Admission Agreement between MU and the Virginia Community College System.
In addition, the agreement further articulates terms that ensure MU and NOVA will jointly support dual enrolled students, whether online or in person. This agreement includes the formation of a joint advisory committee. A pathway will be established to assist MU students. Students who face too steep a challenge in completing their degree will be afforded the opportunity to return to NOVA to earn an associate degree.
“Education works best when education works together,” said Ralls. “This partnership goes beyond establishing a guaranteed admissions agreement between two institutions, it also guarantees a transfer partnership that facilitates a seamless transition for students to save money and become successful in further pursuing their education. Today marks NOVA’s first guaranteed transfer partnership agreement with a private institution with many more partnerships to come.”
Nationally, community college students lose an average of approximately 13 credits when they transfer to four-year institutions. This diminishes their chances of earning a bachelor’s degree and increases tuition debt. The NOVA and MU partnership represents one of many steps the College is taking toward resolving this national problem.
“As a higher education institution, our goal is to help students succeed regardless of where they decided to transfer,” Shank said. “This partnership will be successful based on information sharing. At Marymount, we have approximately 3,500 undergrad and graduate students. I want all students at NOVA to think of Marymount as an option if they didn’t before. This partnership will not only help to streamline a more efficient transition, but it will also help to promote our university as a great alternative for students.”
Joanna Isabela Lovo, a former NOVA student transferred to MU to pursue a degree in early childhood education. As the vice-president of MU’s Latino Student Association, Lovo worked a full-time job, while enrolled at NOVA as a full-time student prior to transferring to MU. To honor her parents, she paid her own college tuition with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.
“Although I didn’t apply to a four-year university right out of high school, I was grateful that NOVA was there,” said Lovo. “I was beyond satisfied with my courses and the professors that I had. If it wasn’t for my experiences at NOVA, I really don’t know where I would be. It helped me to transition to Marymount, where I grew so much as a person and became very active in various campus organizations. I’m truly grateful and appreciative for both NOVA and Marymount for helping me to achieve my dreams.”