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Most students attending Marshalltown Community College are planning to complete an Associate in Arts Degree (A.A.), and then transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree. The following are some critical points to help smooth the transfer process:

  1. When initially arriving at MCC, students who know what major they want to study, and where they plan to transfer after completing their A.A. Degree, have the best opportunity for a smooth transfer process. Commonly, however, a significant percentage of students arrive at MCC undecided about their major area of study and are uncertain about where they hope to transfer. Our “Associate in Arts Degree” (A. A.) is designed to help move students in the right direction while transitioning through this “major” selection process. Students are encouraged to make it a priority to explore opportunities, in the hope of clarifying their degree interests and transfer options as soon as possible. Of course, this process is different for every student, and does not always happen within a neat time frame. Ideally, students begin to communicate with their choice of transfer school as early as possible in the A.A. Degree process.
  1. The Associate in Arts Degree (A.A.) is generally considered our best transferable degree and has been designed with this in mind. The A.A. Degree is essentially a “Liberal Arts” degree, with a broad educational focus, including an Elective category providing opportunities to explore college-level course offerings and/or to focus more specifically on major course prerequisites and requirements. Your MCC advisor will help clarify the specific requirements for the A.A. Degree, and whether or not a different credential is better suited for your educational interests.
  1. Marshalltown Community College has an “Articulation Agreement” with the three Regent universities in the State of Iowa: Iowa State University (ISU), University of Iowa (UI), and the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). These are nationally and internationally recognized universities. The Articulation Agreement essentially states that students who complete the A.A. Degree, and then transfer to an Iowa Regent university, will have all credit accepted. How the accepted credit will then apply to a Bachelor’s Degree depends on a student’s degree interests. NOTE: There are many other colleges and universities throughout the State of Iowa that work well with MCC transfer credit. (See additional Transfer Resources)
  1. To formalize the transfer process, our three Regent universities have established Admissions Partnership Programs with MCC:
  • Iowa State University (ISU) – Admissions Partnership Program
  • University of Iowa (UI) – 2 plus 2 Guaranteed Graduation Plan
  • University of Northern Iowa (UNI) – Admissions Partnership Program

Students planning to attend a Regent university are encouraged to participate in the partnership program by completing the corresponding application. The benefits of participating can be significant and ideally helps a student best utilize their time at MCC. (See Admissions Partnership Programs / Transfer Resources)

  1. Commonly students complete their A.A. Degree in 2 years and then transfer to a four-year school. However, this time frame can vary widely for students, based on their personal situations. The completion of a B.A. Degree then generally takes an additional 2+ years, depending on overall B.A. Degree program requirements and how the A.A. Degree coursework was specifically applied to the degree. A common way to look at this timeline from an Associate in Arts Degree (A.A.) to a Bachelor’s Degree (B.A. or B.S.) would be:   A.A. Degree plus 2 years (or 2 ½ years, or 3 years…) Early communication with a student’s choice of transfer school can help clarify the timeline towards graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree.
  1. As noted, most students attending MCC will complete the A.A. Degree, in part because MCC has designed this degree to generally transfer well to four-year colleges and universities. Of course, MCC also recognizes some four-year schools take a unique approach to transfer credit, reinforcing the idea of students establishing communication with their choice of transfer school as soon as possible. (Credit by credit transfer, or A.A. package transfer…)
  1. MCC advisors seek to provide the highest quality academic advising services, including assisting in the transfer process. We further reinforce how critical it is that students establish their own transfer connection, recognizing that in the transfer process a direct point of contact with the next school helps students begin to understand the bigger picture, and builds confidence that course choices are effective.
  1. Finally, by taking a proactive approach to the transfer process, students can establish when best to officially apply to their next school and can note other important deadlines in the transfer process, including scholarship applications, financial aid, housing, etc. Four-year colleges & universities, as well as many academic degree programs, ranging from “selective” to “highly selective” in the admissions process, so it is important to be aware of early admissions application opportunities (and other critical application criteria) to increase a student’s prospects of being officially admitted.