Heidelberg to offer open transfer for community college grads


TIFFIN – Heidelberg University is launching a new program to simplify the pathway for transfer students to earn their bachelor’s degree without all the barriers and stress.

Community college graduates who have earned their associate of art or associate of science degree from an accredited institution can now earn their bachelor’s degree in the same major from Heidelberg in only 60 credits – approximately two years – without all the red tape frequently involved for transfer students. This new Open Transfer option will roll out in time for fall semester, which begins in August.

At the launch of the program, transfer students interested in pursuing a Heidelberg bachelor’s degree can choose majors in business (eight in total), criminology, English, history, political science and psychology as they enroll through the Open Transfer option. Additional majors will be added in the future.

Many students who have earned their associate’s degree and are looking to take the next step in their education journey face losing credits and courses that don’t align with the university programs they choose when they decide to pursue their bachelor’s degree, said Tony Bourne, vice president for Enrollment Management & Marketing at Heidelberg. This means that degree-seeking transfer students must retake courses they have already passed or entirely new courses just to meet a four-year school’s requirements. Just two or three extra classes may mean they have to stay for an extra semester, costing these students thousands of dollars. Often, students have a whole extra year in front of them.

“Universities should be finding ways to make this process work for students,” Bourne said. “We feel if you graduate from an accredited associate’s degree program, you’ve done your part. Making a pathway toward a bachelor’s degree is the university’s burden, not the student’s.

“Heidelberg has decided the old method of exclusionary agreements, paperwork and barriers to entry should no longer be the norm,” Bourne explained. “Heidelberg is excited to move past this outdated practice.”

A key component in respecting and encouraging transfer students is providing excellent resources and academic support. Bryan Smith, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, is confident that transfer students who have earned their associate’s degree will be well-positioned to succeed academically at Heidelberg. The university provides innovative resources – such as the Owen Center for Teaching and Learning (OCTL) – to ensure success for all students.

“The Owen Center for Teaching and Learning provides an integrated and holistic approach to student support services including academic advising, academic support, and accessibility services which are available to all students as soon as they are admitted to Heidelberg,” Smith said. “The OCTL is complemented by the HYPE Career Ready and Placement team who assists students with procuring meaningful experiential learning experiences, including internships, to develop a complete resumé and assistance with preferred placement upon graduation.”

The new Open Transfer program also entitles transfer students to participate in Heidelberg’s OnePlusAdvantage Tuition-Free MBA Scholarship Program. Those who transfer in and complete a bachelor’s degree in two years, earning a 3.0 GPA or higher, can go on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree in one year, with 50% off tuition.

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