A program that helps students at Pensacola State College transfer to UWF has been renewed and updated. It's called PSC2UWF, and it replaces a similar agreement that was signed in June, 2014. "One of the greatest assets of the Florida higher education system is the close relationship between its state colleges and its universities" said University of West Florida President Dr. Martha Saunders. "Because we know students arrive at our doors from a lot of different paths, and through agreements like (the one) we're signing today, we make it easier for them to seamlessly move in the direction they want to move to the highest goals they want to achieve."
Saunders was addressing a crowd of a couple of dozen officials from the university and Pensacola State Tuesday morning as she and college president Dr. Ed Meadows signed the new agreement. While there are some minor revisions in this agreement, the biggest change is a reverse transfer clause. PSC President Meadows says that will helps make sure a student gets the credit they need for their associate’s degree. "The majority (of students) will receive that associate's degree before they transfer (to UWF)" said Meadows. "But in the event that a student finds the need to transfer prior to receiving the associate degree, we have developed a reverse transfer clause in the articulation agreement that allows our students, once they transfer and get the correct number of courses at the University of West Florida, (UWF) will give (the student) the option of transferring those credits back so that we can award the associate's degree."
And while prior to this agreement students were still able to get their bachelor’s degree in the long run, Dr. Saunders says having that associate’s degree in hand is important for students. "An associate degree is a mile marker. And it's real important. It is a point of encouragement, because it’s the first step to the next degree, and the next degree, and the next degree or certification. And it is a good sign of encouragement for our students."
Dr. Saunders says the agreement, which is known as a 2 plus 2, helps strengthen the important bond between the two schools. "On any given year, Pensacola State and UWF have about 25,000 students between us. And they're all kinds of students with all kinds of interests. Many from this area, but not all. And so the stronger our relationship can be, the stronger this partnership (between the two schools) is, the better these students and our community is served."
The University of West Florida has a student advisor at Pensacola State, making sure that students who wish to transfer are taking the right courses and following the right path while at the college, monitoring their progress and making sure they know the logistics of transferring from the college to the university. Another goal of the program is to save students and parents money by taking only courses that are needed for the student’s final degree, and avoids duplication. That cuts down on the number of classes the student takes and has to pay for.