Bellevue College is a highly reputable institution that offers a vast array of opportunities for both personal and academic growth. In 2010, the Office of Effectiveness and Strategic Planning found that approximately 48 percent of students reported transferring to be their primary goal for attending college. BC students are fortunate to reside in a state that has prioritized legislation to aid in the transferring process.
The Policy on Intercollege Transfer and Articulation among Washington Public Colleges and Universities was adopted and endorsed by various bodies between 1983 and 1986. This policy mandates notification of “changes in lower division course requirements for baccalaureate degrees two years prior to their implementation for transfer student.” Additionally, institutions must seek out and identify equivalency in curriculum amongst fellow institutions.
The Direct Transfer Agreement was approved in October of 1996 by the Intercollege Relations Commission, and effective in fall 1998. According to the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges’ website in Chapter 5 of the ICRC Handbook, April 2011, the “Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) Associate degree … is defined as that degree awarded by a community college to students who have completed a transfer curriculum.” Bellevue College offers an extensive compilation of transfer degrees. Under various stipulations, colleges accepting the DTA currently include Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, Gonzaga University, University of Washington, Western Washington University and Pacific Lutheran University among many others. For a full list of institutions accepting DTA degrees, please visit the SBCTC homepage.
Colleges are finding themselves in a position where demand is exceeding capacity. A potential barrier to one’s ability to transfer is the predetermined quantity of transfer students some colleges will accept. For example, according to the University of Washington’s goals and priorities subsection under transfers, the UWS “generally dedicates 30 percent of its new undergraduate spaces annually to Washington community college transfer students.” This number includes Running Start students that transfer with 40 or more applicable credits. While such terms can seem limiting and exclusionary, statistics would suggest there are better odds for a transfer student than a freshman. According to UWS’s list of quick facts online, in autumn 2013 UWS received 5,531 transfer applications, offered 2,368 students admission and enrolled 1,724 transfer students. Approximately 80 percent of these students were from two-year colleges. Comparatively, there were 30,200 freshman applicants, 16,679 offer recipients and 6,255 enrollees. This means that transfer students had approximately a 31 percent enrollment to application rate whereas freshman had only a 21 percent enrollment to application rate.
According to BC’s online fact page, in 2009 to 2010 “nearly 10 percent of all Washington community and technical college transfer students transferring to Washington public four-year institutions were from Bellevue College … While times may have changed and students are no longer granted automatic admission for having a DTA degree and a 2.75 grade point average, BC transfer students have remained competitive within the higher education community.”