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Friday, April 14, 2006

Accepting the Best

A few days ago, we announced an articulation agreement with Virginia's community college system (VCCS). The agreement stipulates that VCCS students who maintain a 3.4 GPA while earning their Associates Degree (there are some additional stipulations) will gain admission to UVA. I thought this was a great move. There are so many smart students out there who don't fit the traditional mold; who might not have been ready for UVA (or ready to pay for it) when they were seniors in high school. It feels great to know we're helping "non-traditional" students come to UVA. I also think students benefit from being exposed to classmates who've been out in the real world or spent time elsewhere before arriving at UVA. I hope more community college students see UVA as a viable option because of these agreements and the press they've generated.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as positive about the possible influx of community college students as we are. A recent graduate wrote a letter to the editor of The Cavalier Daily in response to an article they ran earlier this week about the articulation agreements.
Such a system would allow a lazy high school student to go to a community college where he or she could do just enough to get by and would then reward such behavior with admission to one of this nation's finest schools.
I wonder how many community college students this alum knows. I wonder if he realizes that many juggle full time jobs, families, and school. I wonder if he realizes that some of our faculty teach courses at PVCC, our local community college. I wonder if he realizes that there were plenty of VCCS students in his graduating class; Students who were admitted as transfer students in his second and third year.

Just yesterday, I was celebrating the fact that our students are aware of the world outside their campus bubble. I guess a few get through here without a wake up call.
I am certainly not saying that all people who attend community college are lesser people