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Blinn, A&M agreement equals 2+2

Published: Monday, October 24, 2005

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

Texas A&M signed an agreement with Blinn College allowing qualified students in agribusiness or agricultural economics at Blinn to automatically transfer to Texas A&M.

This is the first time the two schools have matched their curriculum, allowing students to get a bachelor's degree at A&M while still receiving an associate degree from Blinn.

The 2+2 Articulation Agreement could set the stage for agreements in other major fields of study, officials said.

Barbara Pearson, vice president of Blinn College, said a lot of Blinn students major in agricultural programs, then transfer to A&M. She said advisers have been working with the students to help the transfer process and that this agreement simply guarantees the transfer.

"(This agreement) gives students a greater incentive to do well and make good grades," she said.

Students must be within six hours of completing their associate degree, keep a grade-point ratio of 3.0 and meet other general admissions requirements. The agreement will go into effect in Spring 2006.

Pearson said A&M and Blinn also have a partnership in the TEAM program, where students are co-enrolled at Blinn and A&M. This is TEAM's fifth year.

"It's similar to the TEAM program," she said. "Only there is no co-enrollment. Students spend two years at Blinn, then can transfer to A&M."

Edward Rister, a professor and associate department head of agricultural economics at A&M, said transfer students tend to lose a lot of coursework credits and later decide to transfer to a different department where their coursework counts.

"We are willing to encourage students at Blinn to consider our majors, and we want to make sure they take the right classes," Rister said.

This agreement will help students from Blinn be in sync with the agricultural programs and their requirements at A&M, Rister said.

"We'll see students arriving better prepared for an easier transition," he said.

Rister said he has no worries about students from Blinn fitting in at A&M any less than an incoming freshman.

"I get told 'howdy' more often on the Blinn Campus than I do here," he said.

Amber Arseneaux, a freshman agribusiness major at A&M, said she does not think the program is fair.

"The academic standards are not the same at Blinn (as at A&M), so guaranteed acceptance isn't fair," Arseneaux said. "Not that Blinn's not a good school, but it's not the same."

Arseneaux said she thinks the program cheats students who work hard four years at A&M or those who transfer to A&M from other schools.

"People who transfer from other schools should get the same opportunity (as those in the Blinn program)," she said.

Pam Vernon, the agricultural economics undergraduate counselor at A&M, said Blinn students who take advantage of the agreement will get "an additional hanging on-wall," making them viable candidates for the employment arena.

Vernon said about 40 percent of students coming into the department are transfer students and that the department wants to accommodate them as well as possible.

Vernon said the department is working on creating more agreements in the future and that through the Student Information Management System program, they hope to get an idea of which schools the students are coming from the most.

"Based on that information, (the department) will make a decision on what schools to contact next about the articulation agreement," Vernon said.

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