Education

MJC, Stanislaus State to sign ‘Warriors on the Way’ deal to ease students’ transfers

A whiteboard outside the Transfer Center in the Modesto Junior College East Campus Student Center shows when students can make appointments to meet with universities’ academic advisers who visit the campus.
A whiteboard outside the Transfer Center in the Modesto Junior College East Campus Student Center shows when students can make appointments to meet with universities’ academic advisers who visit the campus. jfarrow@modbee.com

Modesto Junior College and California State University, Stanislaus, are improving the path for students to transfer and earn undergraduate degrees.

Tuesday morning in the MJC student center, a memorandum of understanding will be signed to create a “Warriors on the Way,” or WOW, agreement between the Modesto and Turlock schools.

For at least six years, Stanislaus State has been the No. 1 destination for MJC students transferring to four-year institutions, said Flerida Arias, the college’s interim vice president of student services. Preliminary figures show that 37 percent of MJC transfer students last year continued on to Stanislaus State, she said. The most popular programs students are entering include administration of justice, nursing, business, psychology and liberal studies.

The understanding between the schools will promote associate degrees for transfer, or ADTs, through WOW. Courses completed on the ADT path area guaranteed to be accepted by the university, Arias said. Stanislaus State has a Stockton campus and already has a WOW agreement with Delta College there. And MJC has a similar arrangement — transfer admission guarantees, or TAGs — with the University of California.

Incoming MJC students now will hear about WOW at orientation days, called new student days, Arias said. “It’s an opportunity to get on a pathway early on,” she said of the program. “... There’s a lot of upfront decision making students need to move through.”

As part of the strengthened partnership, MJC also has designated space in its Transfer Center to house a Stanislaus State academic adviser up to 40 hours per week. And future plans include additional conversations between the two institutions’ faculties about curriculum, to ensure clarity on relevant courses.

Arias said she sees no downside to starting down the WOW path, even should a student decide during his or her time at MJC to pursue a different field of study or transfer to a different university. “Of course students have the opportunity to change their minds,” Arias said, adding that it’s natural and common. “It’s designed to be flexible if they decide something’s not for them.”

MJC encourages students to stay in regular touch with the transfer center staff and with the four-year institutions they’re aiming for, Arias said. “We have worked very hard on this campus for our students to have lots of connections,” she added, including with their counselors, their success specialists and others.

The community MJC serves includes a lot of low-income, first-generation college students, Arias said, and Stanislaus State continues to be a strong supporter of helping those youth earn undergraduate degrees.

In a news release about the memorandum of understanding and the WOW program, MJC Interim President Steve Collins said, “Having ready access to a Stan State academic adviser on the MJC campus makes it simpler (for students) to have their questions answered and easier for them to transfer. We are committed to providing a well-educated work force for our business community, and this fortified partnership with Stan State is a pivotal step toward that goal.”

Applications are being accepted for enrollment in the 2019 summer and fall terms at MJC. Those interested can apply at www.mjc.edu/studentservices/enrollment/applyforadmission. For more information, visit the MJC Pathways Centers on the east and west campuses or call 209-575-6789 or 209-575-7736.

Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.

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