College of the Rockies Transfer Students Excel
Students who transfer from an academic program at College of the Rockies and complete a degree at another BC institution do better academically than most of their peers.
Excellent performance is just one of the findings of a recent report by The British Columbia Council on Admission and Transfer (BCCAT), which looked at students who transferred to a degree-granting institution between 2008 and 2012. The report found that COTR transfer students graduated with a higher grade point average (GPA) than students from most other BC colleges and universities. Further, 85 percent of COTR transfer students completed their degree – the highest completion rate of transfer students from any BC institution.
“It’s pretty amazing that our students do so well provincially,” said Darrell Bethune, dean of academic programs at the College. “At UBC Vancouver, for instance, the report compared transfer students from 24 institutions, and College of the Rockies transfer students ranked first in terms of their graduating grade point average. Our students were also in the top five at SFU and UVic. It is a great testament to the small college experience.”
According to the report, students transferring from the College went into degree programs in many fields. Nursing was most popular, followed by Arts or Science, Education, social services, Engineering and Business.
University Studies graduate, Haley Pelton found starting her post-secondary education at the College was very beneficial.
“I had no problem getting full transfer credit for the courses I studied at the College. I also found that I had a much better experience of first and second year science courses than other students who completed them at university, especially labs, because of the smaller class sizes and individual attention from instructors,” she says.
“There’s no single reason that COTR does so well provincially, but it starts with having truly excellent faculty members in the classroom,” remarks Bethune. “We also offer more than 60 first year courses and 30 second year courses in University Arts and Science every year, on top of which we have all the specialized university-level courses in Kinesiology, Tourism and Recreation Management, and Business Administration. Combine that with our UVic partnership degree programs in nursing and education, and our transfer agreements with colleges and universities in both BC and Alberta, and it is very easy for students to begin their degree at the College, taking advantage of lower costs and small class sizes, before transferring to larger institutions.”
In 2015 COTR signed a dual admission agreement with the University of Lethbridge that guarantees qualified students a seat in eligible third year programs. The agreement, which covers most arts and science disciplines, gives College of the Rockies students entering third year the benefit of “returning student” status at ULethbridge, which includes scholarship opportunities, early registration, early access to campus housing, education advising from both institutions, and access to Co-op opportunities in the summer semester after their second year at the College.
“You can now be a University of Lethbridge student doing your first two years at College of the Rockies,” Bethune adds.