December 5, 2014 | SharkAdmin One of the best ways to advise our students is giving them the most accurate information about the courses they need to take at Northwest Vista College and if those classes will transfer easily to another college. In order to do this, NVC is trying to update its advisement guides currently on the books and bring academic discipline leaders in the process to help provide that accurate information. Wednesday, Dec. 3 was the first step of the advisement guide/articulation process of assessing our academic discipline courses beyond the general education core in light of university baccalaureate degree major requirements. NVC faculty reviewed the requirements from those university programs to which our AA and AS graduates intend to transfer and aligned our course offerings with those accepted in degree programs at selected Texas universities. The end goal is that our faculty will build relationships with their peers at many of our partner institutions to ensure that the transfer process is more seamless for our students. While it will take additional meetings between our faculty and university faculty prior to the development of seamless Memorandums of Understanding with each university, the Dec. 3 gathering was a great start. This advisement guide meeting was the result of a dialogue that Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie and I had with NVC Faculty Senate President Viviane Marioneaux and the Faculty Senate Leadership. It was evident that many of the lead faculty wanted an opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue with their NVC peers prior to finalizing advisement guides or “2 + 2 agreements” with our university partners. I know from working on over 250 transfer agreements myself that what is printed in catalogues may be different from how a university academic department assesses transfer credit from a community college. If we can build positive relationships with our counterparts, those relationships can positively impact how our course credits are applied to university graduation requirements. We want our AA and AS students to have an NVC graduation plan in which every course counts toward their transfer to a university. Alamo Colleges data shows that our average graduating student has accumulated 90 credit hours when often only 60 of credit hours are required for graduation from NVC. While many students may continue to take courses beyond their degree plan, I'm hoping NVC will lead the way in providing our students with a pathway for them to follow in enhancing their propensity to complete their goal of completing an associate degree as well as a baccalaureate degree following their transfer to the university of their choice.