“We have started these discussions and we hope to be able to reach agreements that are at least similar in mind when it comes to giving great value and priority to Community College transfer students who are obtaining associate degrees,” he said in an email. Western governors have tried to limit its articulation agreements to states, mainly because of the complexity of escaping and maintaining agreements with hundreds of two-year institutions, Partridge said. Western governors also say they want to engage in the national “closing program.” And the new agreements with community universities will benefit university students who do not arrive at their destination. “This articulation agreement creates another fluid and economical pathway for CBT students who are interested in a bachelor`s degree from WGU,” said TCC Vice President Chancellor and Le Provost Elva LeBlanc. “The OWL transfer program will not only expand opportunities for CBT graduates, but will also have an impact on Texan workers, who rely heavily on a highly skilled workforce.” Milliron and Partridge point out that articulation agreements do not mean that Western governors compete with public universities. This is because Western governors focus on adult students, while public universities most often enroll 18-24 year olds. WGU Indiana and Washington branches have similar programs, including the 5 percent cut, Partridge said. The university has national articulation agreements with community colleges in seven states, some of which include rebates and scholarships for associate graduates, as well as “more flexible marketing partnerships” with 330 community colleges across the country, including large systems like Maricopa Community College in Arizona. Community colleges like four-year institutions to promote associate degrees. This is because it minimizes the flip side of the transfer of students, which is that they often screw up after a year.
Rey Garcia, CEO and president of the Community College Association, said he hoped the agreement with WGU Texas could serve as a framework for similar agreements between two-year institutions and traditional public universities in the state. While the 50 colleges of the Texas Association of Community Colleges are all participants and have articulation agreements with the university, WGU Texas officials said they focused on a dozen large colleges that have shown the greatest interest in the program.