By Megan Rule | Staff Writer
Baylor University and South Texas College announced the creation of a Baylor Bound Transfer Agreement Monday, which allows students to transfer easily to the private institution.
“Students have an opportunity to save a tremendous amount of money on tuition,” said Dr. Shirley A. Reed, president of South Texas College. “The way this helps most students is the money they’re going to save and the hassles they’re going to save regarding transferring. They won’t be dealing with the issue of ‘that course isn’t on your career plan’ or ‘it isn’t accepted here.’”
The purpose of this program is to serve motivated students from South Texas College who will transfer to Baylor to complete their baccalaureate degree, as long as they meet the program’s criteria, according to a press release. Students at South Texas College may state their intent to transfer to Baylor by submitting the Baylor Bound application either before enrolling at South Texas College or while enrolled as a full-time student. Admission is determined by the Baylor Office of Admission Services, as students have to meet the same admission guidelines as any other transfer students. The program does not guarantee acceptance to Baylor.
“As we celebrate our 10th Baylor Bound agreement and reaching this institutional milestone, we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with high-quality institutions such as South Texas College,” said Baylor Interim President Dr. David E. Garland in the press release. “It is through these strong Baylor Bound collaborations that we are able to expand educational opportunities for students in Texas.”
This is the 10th Baylor Bound agreement made. The previous partnerships are with McLennan Community College in Waco, Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Blinn College in Brenham, Collin College in McKinney, Temple College in Temple, Alamo Colleges in San Antonio, Midland College in Odessa, San Jacinto College in Pasadena and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.
“This agreement ushers in a beneficial working relationship to meet the educational needs of the students of the Valley,” Reed said in the press release. “This agreement with Baylor creates a seamless pathway that will allow South Texas College students to move from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree as efficiently as possible.”
The program operates through major academic planners (MAPs) which serve as roadmaps for the students at South Texas College. Students will identify a major and complete the preliminary coursework at South Texas College. If they maintain the necessary grade point average, they can transfer to Baylor. Dr. Wesley Null, vice provost for undergraduate education, said the MAP will show students which courses to take that will transfer seamlessly as equivalent courses.
“For students who live in that area, I think they should be excited that now they’ve been handed an opportunity to follow a pathway that is without any ambiguity as far as what courses they’ll have transfer to Baylor,” Null said. “They’ll know from the beginning and can start planning before they start their first semester.”
Kelli Davis, university relations transfer and articulation center officer, said the program looks to recruit students from South Texas College that have the academic quality of Baylor students. Davis said the agreement has no set number of students who have to be accepted, although the goal is to accept five to six a year.
Davis also said that transferring from one public university to another is easier because the core courses match up. This Baylor Bound program makes the process of going from a public school to a private school a bit easier.
“We’re really excited about this ,and we’re going to be turning from additional agreements to focusing on the ones we have in order to make as strong a partnership as we possibly can,” Null said.
Baylor has been working on Baylor Bound for about three years, Null said. The transfer program started with McLennan Community College and expanded from there. Baylor hopes to reach out to two additional schools.
Baylor is committed to having a diverse student body, and Reed expressed interest in the agreement, as the South Texas College student body is 96 percent Hispanic.
“It really is saying to students at South Texas College that Baylor University has a great deal of confidence in them as future students. It’s also saying that Baylor has a great deal of confidence in how prepared these students are going to be,” Reed said. “It is a vote of confidence in our faculty for preparing these students. Baylor has high academic standards, and we feel quite honored that Baylor chose to participate with us.”