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MCTC students receive clear ticket to Augsburg College

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Qualified students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College will be guaranteed admission as juniors to Augsburg College under an agreement announced Friday.

  Officials from the two colleges plan to make it easier for community college students to transfer to the four-year campus, a process that for some can be confusing, stressful and unnecessarily costly.

  Transferring from the community college to Augsburg "is going to be completely streamlined," said Kristy Snyder, MCTC's dean of academic foundations. "It's going to create the sense [among students] that 'I can do this.'"

Transfer agreements and partnerships already exist among some private and public campuses in the state. But leaders from the two colleges say their "Auggie Plan" is unusual because it doesn't lock students into a major early on.

  Under the plan, MCTC students can take a range of liberal arts courses and Augsburg promises to accept all of their academic credit.

  "With this Auggie Plan, we're mapping out a four-semester pathway that opens up over 60 majors for you," Snyder said. "So you don't have to decide when you first go to college."

  If students maintain a GPA of 2.75 or higher, Augsburg promises to admit them.

  That will save MCTC students the stress and guesswork of transferring, Snyder said.

  "They can focus on what it really means to be a college student," she said. "They don't have to worry about what classes to pick. They can instead focus on their studies, developing friendships and the kind of college experience that we all want everybody to have."

  Amy Strohmeier Gort, dean of arts and sciences at Augsburg College, said students could have a more enjoyable experience once they arrive on her campus. They won't have to spend time taking extra courses because some credits did not transfer, she said.

  "They will have the opportunity and the time to really engage in their major [and] to consider minors," Strohmeier Gort said. "They'll have time to do things on campus."

  The transfer plan also gives MCTC students opportunities to meet Augsburg students and faculty and to experience life at Augsburg, campus officials said.

  The colleges are working on similar transfer plans for students interested in education degrees as well as degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Those should be ready in August, MCTC spokeswoman Dawn Skelly said.