The Transfer Track

Navigate transfer opportunities

Higher education could easily be renamed higher and higher education because learning never stops and advanced degree paths are virtually unlimited. As students progress through their educational careers, they need to be aware of all the opportunities that await them at the college and university level. Even if students don’t know what they wish to ultimately do for a living, they still need to ask, “Where can I go from here?”

“We are finding that more and more of our students are asking about pathways to four-year degrees,” said Kelly Murtaugh, vice president of academic and student affairs at Dakota County Technical College. “They enroll here knowing that DCTC is the first stop on their educational journey and not their final destination.”

Kelly Murtaugh

Kelly Murtaugh

Murtaugh noted that many students also come to DCTC to find out if they really are college material. “They soon discover that not only can they handle the coursework, but that college life is both fun and rewarding,” she said. “They start looking ahead to greater challenges and want to know if DCTC has built-in pathways to four-year institutions.”

The good news is that DCTC has an extensive list of transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities throughout Minnesota and beyond. DCTC admissions experts and academic advisors are always ready to help students plan their education far into the future, making sure that they take courses whose credits will transfer smoothly and completely.

Murtaugh pointed out that one crucial step in the transfer process is for students to connect with people from their target institutions. “Students need to talk with representatives from the college or university where they plan to pursue their advanced degrees—and the sooner the better,” she said. “That’s where they will get the best and most current information about what course credits will transfer for their particular program or major.”

She went on to say that transfer options at DCTC are wide open for students with four-year aspirations. “We transfer with private colleges and public universities both inside and outside the state of Minnesota,” she said. “Students should know that they have no limits on their choice of institutions once they decide to move on from DCTC.”

To learn more about the steps necessary for transferring credits from DCTC, visit Transfer Credits.

Partnering with Concordia University, St. Paul, DCTC now delivers general education courses at the Diamondhead Education Center in Burnsville, Minn. Lonn Maly, Concordia’s vice president of academic affairs, talks about the benefits of transfer agreements between the two institutions.

“The four-year schools partnership benefits DCTC students by creating new possibilities for its graduates to complete their bachelor’s degrees,” says Maly. “We developed the Concordia Transfer Advantage program, which offers a streamlined credit acceptance policy that aligns with the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Areas and a guaranteed $2,000 transfer scholarship in our accelerated (evening) or traditional (day school) degree programs.

“In addition, traditional students also are eligible for academic scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $8,000. This more transfer-friendly approach makes a Concordia education more accessible and offers greater opportunities for DCTC students.”

Located in Apple Valley, Minn., Partners in Higher Education represents a collaborative effort between DCTC, Inver Hills Community College and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to offer seamless transfer opportunities for students. Paul Christensen, director of Bachelor of Science programs, business, human resource management, and marketing at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, offers two-fold advice for students regarding their transfer options.

“Transfer, or articulation, agreements between colleges such as DCTC and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota benefit technical and community college students in two ways,” reports Christensen. “First, these agreements allow students to assess the number of credits and course types that will be accepted by the four-year university in question.

“In addition, transfer agreements allow students to assess which technical or community college courses are considered equivalent to those courses offered at the four-year universities.”

Saint Mary’s University has a variety of evening accelerated Bachelor of Science programs, including Accounting, Business, Human Resource Management and Marketing.

Christensen went on to say that regardless of their program at DCTC, students can transfer to almost any SMU program (with the exception of nursing).

To learn more, visit the College Transfer Guide.

Betty Roers, assistant to the dean of Distance Learning/Senior College at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn., has a surefire formula for students seeking advanced learning: DCTC + SMSU = BACHELOR’S DEGREE.

“Exciting opportunities await DCTC students wishing to attain a bachelor’s degree without leaving the DCTC area,” states Roers. “After earning their associate degree at DCTC, students can finish their bachelor’s degree through SMSU Distance Learning and evening, daytime and online classes at DCTC.

SMSU has a long history of working with two-year institutions to offer educational opportunities. SMSU takes great pride in the high-quality education provided through its partnership with DCTC.”

Three transfer pathways are available:
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Management