UNF and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) announced the launch of the Connect transfer assistance program through a press release on May 6. College applicants can register for Connect, but its services won’t be available until fall 2016.
Ouida Powe, UNF’s director of Transfer Services and the Jacksonville Commitment, has worked at UNF since 2007 and captained Connect’s planning process, currently in its final draft stage.
“We actually will start recruiting July 1, when students are applying for next summer and fall,” Powe said. “I really had hoped that we would have everything hammered out for this fall, but we did not want to put out a sub-par program so that it was something different than what already existed.”
The Connect program is designed to help enrollment services at FSCJ guide potential transfer students to UNF. Connect would essentially extend Florida’s articulation agreement rules, which allows AA graduates to transfer to universities with bachelor’s degree programs.
“The Connect is one large umbrella but under that umbrella are these travel lanes, these pathways to the university from the state college,” Powe said.
The Connect program will also allow potential FSCJ transfer students to utilize UNF facilities, for a fee, including the Carpenter Library, Student Wellness Complex and Interfaith Center. Powe said the fee has not yet been determined, citing the need for approval from the Student Fee Assessment Committee (SFAC).
“At the end of the day, the intent is to make sure that [students] are using services on campus, be it our campus or FSCJ’s campus,” Powe said.
Initially, UNF’s services and facilities made available through Connect will be limited to certain FSCJ students.
“We don’t know that we’ll have the capacity to provide student services, services on our campus, for every student that wants to come to UNF because that’s a lot of students,” Powe said. “We’re planning to start off with our initial year in that one lane of students who are taking 15 credit hours, and then build from there.”
The original Connect agreement between UNF and FSCJ was drafted nearly eight years ago, before Powe was hired by UNF. Powe previously worked as director of enrollment services at Sante Fe College in Gainesville, and her experience at the community college helped resuscitate the Connect program.
“It just seemed like a perfect fit, that we would really solidify our partnership and our relationship with FSCJ to make sure we better serve our students,” Powe said.
Powe said it is no surprise that many FSCJ students eventually transfer to UNF, and Connect would help these students move through that transfer process.
“When we’re getting to the point where the Connect is a fully-functioning, thriving program,” Powe said. “We’re hoping to have the capacity, the space and the level of services so that we’ll be able to adopt, almost, some of those students.”
FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau and UNF President John Delaney made the following statements in the press release from May 6:
“We see the Connect program as an opportunity to deliver a united strategy to encourage higher level education and provide access to a broader population of students,” Bioteau said. “We are excited to be working with our sister institution in educating the students in our community and creating a pathway to their success.”
“UNF and FSCJ have designed a program to ensure students have every advantage and are able to connect on every academic level to make sure their transfer from one institution to the other is as seamless as possible and to ensure success in the classroom and beyond,” Delaney said.
Powe said she was told to put a pause on any further interviews about the Connect program before it is drafted. Connect should be finalized by June 30 at the latest.
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