Beginning in April, graduates from several two-year Sault College diploma programs will be able to transfer their credits to two further years of study in degree programs at Algoma University in time for the 2019-2020 academic year, in what is being called a ‘two plus two’ agreement.
Ron Common, Sault College president, and Asima Vezina, Algoma University president and vice chancellor, joined other brass from both postsecondary institutions and signed the new academic agreement at a ceremony Thursday at Sault College’s J Wing.
Katie McLellan, a Sault College grad already pursuing a degree at Algoma, praised the college to university pathway.
McLellan studied in Sault College’s liberal studies program for two years, graduating in 2010, later beginning studies in Algoma University’s Business Administration degree program, with a minor in Human Resources.
“Even though my programs didn’t directly match up (at the time), I was able to transfer a lot of my credits over to Algoma University, so I don’t have any elective courses to take at Algoma, so I’m actually able to focus only on my core courses and direct all my attention on Business Administration. At Algoma U, it’s all business for me, literally,” McLellan told SooToday, adding she has graduate school studies in her sights.
“My time at Sault College allowed me to develop note-taking skills. It gave me confidence...I never believed I could achieve high levels at school, and it really made me believe in myself, that I could achieve more. By the time I reached Algoma University, I realized I had those skills, to take notes, to study, to take my notes from lectures to work and make myself successful. College provides you with a roadmap for how to accomplish tasks, and university teaches you how you’re going to think and work through problems.”
“When you have both together it creates this beautiful, synergistic effect and it’s very, very powerful. It’s my strong believe, from my personal experience, that this (new Sault College/Algoma University agreement) is going to be something great and it’s really going to make students unstoppable,” McLellan said, drawing loud applause from students and postsecondary officials gathered at Thursday’s signing ceremony.
Under the agreement, Sault College grads from Business and Business-Accounting diploma programs will be able to seamlessly continue studies in Algoma University’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.
Similarly, Adventure Recreation and Parks Technician, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Technician, Forestry Technician and Natural Environment Technician diploma program grads may continue in Algoma University’s Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program.
Sault College Police Foundations graduates may also go on to Algoma’s Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice.
Certain grade point averages are required for Sault College grads to be able to move on to Algoma University, details of which are available through Sault College, officials said.
The new agreement stems from what Vezina called “intense discussions” which began between the two schools eight months ago.
“It’s going to be amazing for students to have such an awesome opportunity to start at the college and continue through to the university, to have both a diploma and a degree, to have not only the theoretical application but the applied learning as well,” Vezina said.
“This is fantastic,” Common said of the ‘two plus two’ agreement.
“We’ve been working on this for quite a while...you’ll get a diploma and a degree,” Common told students gathered at Thursday’s signing ceremony.
“Our students, when they graduate, will not have to go away (out of town) if they wish to pursue further studies. They can do it at Algoma University. This is a win for Algoma University, it’s a win for Sault College, but most importantly it’s a win for our students,” Common said.