DSU opens doors to more transfer students

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Dixie State University has opened its doors to other communities by creating a direct pathway for students from Mohave Community College in Colorado City, Arizona. 

This connection will allow students from MCC to more easily transfer their credits and attend DSU with the Good Neighbor Waiver.

“Since historically, we were a college ourselves, there hasn’t been extensive transfer from too many community colleges to [DSU],” said Michael Lacourse, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Now that we’re a university and have a growing number of bachelor’s degrees, there’s degree programs that people can transfer into from community colleges.”

The articulation agreement takes courses offered at both institutions and creates a smooth transition for transfer students. While looking at the courses from both associations, the agreement takes into account different requirements and course titles.

The new academic articulation between DSU and MCC exists only within the bounds of education majors, but there is talk of opening the opportunity up to other majors, Lacourse said.

“We’re at the beginning of building these sort of partnerships, and Mohave was the first one we did,” Lacourse said. 

Lacourse said within the next couple of weeks DSU plans on meeting with Maricopa Community College in Phoenix to establish a similar network. DSU administration has also had preliminary conversations with Dine College located on a Navajo reservation in Tsaile, Arizona, and is interested in building connections in Southern California.

“Overtime, I hope we will have dozens of articulation agreements,” Lacourse said.

Some of the agreements are very general in that general education credits will transfer, and in other cases, specified courses will be transferred to work toward a specific bachelor’s degree.

DSU receives roughly 130 to 150 transfer students a year from a variety of locations, but the transfer program remains small, Lacourse said.

“We’re working on [developing the transfer program,]” Lacourse said. “For example, this summer is the first time we’re offering a specialized orientation for transfer students.”

Lacourse said administrators hope to see about one-third of the student population become transfer students in the coming years.

“We’ve done very little so far to attract transfer students,” Lacourse said. “And I think that we’re just getting started.”

Students transferring from MCC will also be eligible for the Good Neighbor Waiver, and DSU is one of a handful of universities across the nation offering this kind of fee waiver.

“Given our location, we serve certainly Utah but the reality is there are a lot of places close by that are within our economic zone,” Lacourse said.

The Good Neighbor Waiver helps students living in certain counties from paying full out-of-state tuition and instead asks that they only pay 150 percent of in-state tuition. The waiver is open to students from Lincoln or Clark County in Nevada, and Mohave or Coconino County in Arizona.

“The program allows more students who are interested in [DSU] to attend from various nearby states,” said Brynna Tanner, a sophomore psychology major from Phoenix. Tanner attends DSU with the Good Neighbor Waiver.

Lacourse said the waiver came about as a way to allow students who would otherwise have to pay out-of-state tuition despite being closer than the state’s capital to come to DSU for less money.

“It’s nice to know that [DSU] recognizes students who are just outside of the state lines,” said Kyla Borg, a freshman art major from Salt Lake City. “I know a lot of people who are taking advantage of the waiver who are just an hour or two from campus and would otherwise have to pay thousands of dollars more.”