NOVA President Scott Ralls and Old Dominion University (ODU) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Augustine “Austin” Agho signed a guaranteed transfer partnership agreement November 9 that will strengthen the ongoing partnership between the two institutions. In addition, a cybersecurity pathway program was finalized that will help address workforce shortages in the high-demand field.
This agreement lays the foundation for a partnership designed to facilitate the seamless transfer of NOVA graduates to ODU and stipulates the criteria under which NOVA graduates are guaranteed admission to the four-year university. The guaranteed transfer partnership agreement also describes curricular benefits that exceed those outlined in the existing Guaranteed Admission Agreement between ODU and the Virginia Community College System. ODU is one of 40 colleges with which NOVA has negotiated guaranteed transfer agreements.
Nationally, community college students lose an average of about 13 credits when they transfer, and that diminishes their chances of earning a bachelor’s degree and increases their tuition debt. This wasted time and money is a national problem, and the NOVA/ODU partnership represents a major step toward its resolution.
“Most students attend community colleges with the goal of eventually transferring and completing a bachelor’s degree,” Ralls said. “Too often, however, they find their courses either do not transfer or were evaluated as electives, not requirements. The NOVA/ODU partnership ensures that students who follow a prescribed informed pathway will have all of their courses count as curriculum requirements and will transfer as first semester juniors.”
Students are the true beneficiaries of this important partnership agreement between NOVA and ODU. They can now be assured that completing an associate degree at NOVA, taking advantage of its low tuition and outstanding teaching, will not derail them from achieving a four-year degree in a minimum amount of time. When NOVA graduates automatically transfer to ODU, they will continue to benefit from low, in-state tuition from a first-class university.
In addition to the agreement, the two institutions will formalize a 2+2 pathway program for cybersecurity in an effort to educate and prepare students to become qualified candidates for thousands of unfilled cybersecurity positions in the region.
“With new cyber-attacks dominating the headlines, the importance of a dynamic cybersecurity workforce is paramount,” ODU President John R. Broderick said. “Yet thousands of high-paying positions remain unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. Old Dominion University’s partnership with Northern Virginia Community College will be a tremendous asset in our joint effort to address that employment gap. It will provide a clear pathway for high-quality students to obtain a four-year degree and enter the cybersecurity field without delay.”
During the ceremony, Ralls and Agho recognized the importance of the partnership for students and exchanged gifts after hearing from Lulu Fseisi who received her degree from NOVA before transferring to ODU in spring 2017.
NOVA Video Services recorded the ceremony and you can view it online.