The University of West Georgia’s Department of Criminology opened the doors for easier transition between students at West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) with the signing of the Transfer Articulation Agreement on Oct. 12.

UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero and WGTC President Skip Sullivan signed the agreement, which allows credits from one institution to transfer over to another institution without the student having to take duplicate courses.

“It guarantees any West Georgia Tech student transferrable credit,” said Dr. David Jenks, Head of the Criminology department. The agreements states that any WGTC student who receives their Associates degree in criminology can transfer over to UWG.

WGTC students must still meet UWG admissions requirements and be in good academic standing before they can transfer. Once they have been accepted, students can have up to 60 hours of pre-determined courses, where they earned a C or above, automatically transfer to UWG.

The agreement does not only benefit the students at WGCT. Making the transition process for transfers easier allows the opportunity for West Georgia to gain a richer population.

“It brings different viewpoints,” said Jenks. “It broadens the experience.”

West Georgia can now expand its application pool, allowing more students to succeed in college curriculum by being enrolled into the award-winning criminology program the school offers.

“Expect 10-20 percent growth,” said Jenks.

Along with WGTC, the university would like to broaden this type of work and create agreements with other institutions. Georgia Highlands has been discussed as a possibility because of its close distance to campus.

WGTC already holds articulation agreements with other universities. Their list includes Southern Polytechnical University, Mercer and Strayer University. Although they do already have this type of agreement with these other institutions, schools like Mercer, are further away and the costs are higher.

The idea behind the agreement stemmed from circumstances in advising. Many WGTC students wanted to transfer to UWG, but encountered a common issue that exists with transfers everywhere: many of the classes would not transfer over.

“We wanted to see classes go through,” said Jenks. “Everyone at both institutions were very supportive of the idea.”

Criminology students also feel positive about this step forward.

“I love the criminology department,” said senior LaTania Pasley. “The professors are cool and we all have classes together, which makes it easier to network. This new agreement will only provide more opportunities for criminology majors to network more.”

Jenks would like to see the agreement expand to other programs at UWG and throughout the state so students can have a smoother transition into their discipline, not just criminology. The signing of this new articulation agreement paves the way for UWG to grow not just in the academics, but also as a community.

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