University of Pittsburgh
December 5, 2004

New Program Helps Ease the Transition from Two-Year Community College to Pitt


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—A new agreement between Pitt's College of General Studies (CGS) and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)—the first of its kind in this area—is designed to ease the transition for nontraditional students transferring from the two-year community college to Pitt's urban campus.

The program, called The Transition Year Experience, gives CCAC students access to a Pitt educational consultant who will conduct on-campus advising and information sessions at CCAC. CGS will provide early student orientation, career counseling, and scholarships to students considering applying to Pitt. Some seminars and workshops offered at the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success, located on the fourth floor of Pitt's Cathedral of Learning, will be designed exclusively for students transferring in from CCAC.

According to CGS Dean Susan R. Kinsey, adult students often have a difficult time adjusting when they transfer from a community college setting to that of a four-year research institution. "This is the first such program in the region that addresses both pre- and post-transition issues in a systematic fashion based upon current research in the field," said Kinsey.

Traditional transfer student programs assume the student has experienced a university setting as a full-time student. The Transition Year Experience considers that many nontraditional students hold jobs, attend school part-time, and have families, among other commitments. By assisting with their transition to Pitt, CCAC and Pitt hope to better prepare students to meet the current and future occupational demands of Southwestern Pennsylvania in the fields of communication, education, government, healthcare, and social and human services. The expected long-term benefits to the region include an increased number of local college graduates from diverse backgrounds.

"Both CCAC and Pitt are committed to providing the citizens of Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania with the education and programs needed for jobs of the future," added James Holmberg, vice president for Academic and Student Services at CCAC.

For additional information about the Transition Year Experience, CCAC students may contact their academic advisors or call CGS at 412-624-6600.