Worthwhile collaboration benefits students’ futures

By Lauren Lavelle

Rider and Raritan Valley Community College signed the Program to Program Guaranteed Transfer Agreement on Sept. 23.

This newly updated agreement focuses on 18 majors ranging from biology to communication studies, and allows students to easily transfer their credits to the university in order to obtain their bachelor’s degrees.

“Rider has had a long-standing transfer partnership with Raritan Valley, but the last formal agreement prior to this new collaboration dated back to 2004,” said Raritan Valley’s Director of Transfer and Career Services Paul Michaud. “There have been curricular developments at both institutions so the timing was right to develop a new, more comprehensive agreement that would provide direct benefits and incentives for students.”

While this initiative is extremely beneficial for the reputations of the colleges, Michaud is most looking forward to the student reactions to the program.

“This collaboration will be enormously helpful to students because it spells out specific academic pathways for students for many academic majors,” said Michaud. “It is a classic win-win scenario because students will know precisely what courses to take so they have an efficient transfer, and the university gets transfer applicants who are well-prepared to enter into the junior year of academic programs.”

Along with the easy transfer guidelines, the program also offers many perks that would not be accessible otherwise.

“The agreement has a unique feature, a provision that will allow prospective students from our college to take a Rider course free of tuition,” said Michaud. “There is no better way for students to assess a college and its ‘fit’ for them personally than to take a course and doing so without a financial commitment is an enormous benefit.”

Another advantage lies within the financial aspect of education: many students feel being educated in a private institution is out of their range because of their financial and academic standings. Michaud says this agreement proves that assumption wrong.

“Since the agreement encourages completion of the associate degree prior to transfer, it fosters the improvement of graduation rates, a key metric in Federal and State measures of accountability,” said Michaud. “The agreement also opens doors to students who may have the mistaken impression that private universities are out of reach financially. This pathway agreement precisely informs students how to select courses for efficient transfer and the built-in scholarship funds significantly reduce the cost to students and families.”

Overall, the Program to Program Guaranteed Transfer Agreement aims to encourage students to further their education and reach goals they never thought possible.

“Our college has developed nearly 90 transfer agreements with colleges across the country and even internationally, but the Rider agreement is among the very best,” said Michaud. “Rider goes well beyond transfer recruitment to actual transfer partnerships with unique benefits for students, and additional collaborations among faculty.”

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