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Joint Admissions Agreement adds five new transition plans for programs at URI

Feb. 29, 2012

Students meet with advisers at JAA Days in Warwick.

Five new transition plans have been added to the Joint Admissions Agreement (JAA) with the University of Rhode Island, allowing Community College of Rhode Island students to seamlessly transfer into certain academic programs with junior status.

The new transfer programs at URI are: Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Human Development and Family Studies, Computer Science (which now offers a Bachelor of Science option,) Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, and Health Studies.

Some of the new transfer agreements were created specifically at the request of CCRI students, said Rachel McNally, CCRI’s JAA adviser.

“A lot of times students are interested in JAA but the program they want isn’t there yet,” McNally said, “so this opens up a lot of options for our students.”

Health Studies is a new major at URI and McNally said that this transfer agreement in particular should be attractive to CCRI students, as many of them come to school interested in health care but not exactly sure which discipline to pursue.

The Health Studies program prepares students for careers in public health, health care research or education promotion, rather than a career working directly with patients.

“It was a great fit because a lot of our students want a health care career but decide that the hands-on approach isn’t for them,” McNally said.

Another new program at URI that is a part of the Joint Admissions Agreement is Environmental Natural Resource Economics, which studies the effects of human environmental impact and the use of natural resources in the economy.

JAA coordinators at CCRI and URI worked together to create the new transfer programs.

“We try to do as much as possible to help students transferring here get into the programs that they want,” said URI Transfer Resource Center Coordinator Jessica Boisclair.

Many other programs are available at URI as well as Rhode Island College, and students can see a complete list online.

A tuition discount for the first year at RIC or URI also is available for transferring JAA students who have at least a 3.0 GPA upon graduating from CCRI; this tuition discount may be extended for two additional years if students earn at least a 3.0 GPA at RIC or URI.

Advisers from the three colleges will be together at the upcoming JAA days, which will be held on all four CCRI campuses. All students in the JAA program are required to meet with an adviser from CCRI as well as from their intended transfer school once per semester, and Boisclair said the JAA Days events are a convenient way for students to meet this requirement without leaving campus.

“It’s the students’ easiest opportunity to meet with CCRI, URI [and RIC] advisers to meet their requirements for the semester,” she said.

JAA Days are also a good place for students interested in the transfer program to find out more about it by talking to advisers and picking up informational materials.

McNally said that students already in the program should see a CCRI adviser before attending JAA days so that they will know in advance what issues, if any, they need to work out with their advisers from RIC or URI.

A full JAA Days schedule is available online.

Graduates and current members of the JAA program have said that it is an excellent opportunity to transfer seamlessly to a four-year school.

CCRI graduate Robert Grant is now in his third semester at Rhode Island College after transferring there through the JAA program. Grant began attending CCRI in 2010 and always planned to transfer to RIC to study business.

“The biggest reason I chose [the JAA Program] is that it tells you exactly what classes to take,” he said. “I think for students who plan on transferring and staying within Rhode Island it’s absolutely the best way to go. There’s no question of what classes to take … once you get into your transfer school you’re in your major right away.”

Donna Cote is another student in the JAA program. She has been taking classes at the Newport County Campus part-time for five years, and will transfer to the University of Rhode Island.

“I was thrilled to hear about the JAA program because it was great to find out that I could get, for me, a 30 percent discount [on my URI tuition] and the opportunity to continue on at URI,” she said.

Cote originally came to CCRI to take a single course in writing, inspired by a lifelong interest in poetry and short story writing. She did not want to attend college right after she graduated high school, “and then I was an at-home mom, and then there were things like weddings and grandchildren,” she said.

Cote’s father is affected by Alzheimer’s disease and caring for him has meant that she had to cut back on her classes, but she is getting ready to transfer to URI this fall or next spring.

“I’m still at it and I know I will finish,” she said. “The goal is very close now.”


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