Presidents from Alvernia University and Reading Area Community College (RACC) announced a new comprehensive Dual Admissions agreement between the two institutions, during a ceremony on Wednesday, in Alvernia's Franco Library. Alvernia also announced the establishment of a special scholarship program to help RACC dual admission students finance their education at Alvernia.
Alvernia President, Dr. Thomas F. Flynn, and RACC President Dr. Anna Weitz added their signatures to the new dual admission agreement that will provide access and opportunity for students from Berks and the surrounding counties.
Through the dual admission program, students will simultaneously apply and be admitted to both institutions. Alvernia will waive the application fee, and transfer fees will also be waived for students who successfully complete the requirements of the dual-admission program.
Under the program, students will complete their Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree at RACC and then enroll at Alvernia for the completion of their Baccalaureate Degree in a wide variety of degree granting programs. "Unlike many such agreements," said Alvernia Provost Shirley Williams, "this program is open to all students whether they seek admission to Alvernia as traditional daytime students or as students in the evening program."
Alvernia and RACC have been working together for many years to provide a vital source of education and professional development for members of the Berks County community. For more than 50 years, Alvernia has offered diverse academic opportunities with personal attention and an unmatched commitment to community service. With a College of Arts and Sciences and a College of Professional Studies, Alvernia provides more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors, as well as a range of graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels as well as undergraduate options through the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.
Through its technical and vocational training, RACC addresses the need for skilled employees trained in areas like manufacturing technology, information technology, health care, public service and public safety. And through its Business, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Math Divisions, it prepares students with associate's degrees to transfer to four-year institution to earn bachelor's degrees in many fields.
"Since their inception, Alvernia University and Reading Area Community College have been places of transformational opportunity for people from all backgrounds and means, both recent high school graduates and adult students of all ages," said Stacey Adams Perry, dean of admissions & student financial planning at Alvernia. "Today we are making an important announcement that continues that tradition and enhances the relationship between our two institutions."
"From Accounting to Psychology we are pleased to include over 18 different academic options as a part of this agreement," said Perry. "We hope to expand educational opportunity to many more traditional full-time students, adult learners, and even to those students who are currently balancing their education, careers, and families and need to take their classes in the evenings or on weekends."
The following are initial qualifying programs:
- Addiction Studies
- Biology - Med Tech
- Chemistry - Med Tech
- Criminal Justice
- Social Work
C/S and Evening Programs
- (BHS) Addiction Studies
- Criminal Justice
- Psychology/Organizational Behavior
*Additional Programs will be added in subsequent years
Alvernia also announced that it has created a special scholarship fund to help RACC dual admissions students afford and achieve their dream of a bachelor's degree.
Transfer students from RACC have done well at Alvernia, said Flynn. "These students graduate at a very high rate, above the rates for traditional students at many colleges and universities. That is testimony to their motivation and determination, but we at Alvernia also credit the quality of their preparation at RACC."
Beginning in Fall 2011, all full-time students transferring from RACC to Alvernia University in a traditional day program will receive the new RACC/Alvernia Partnership Award. This $6,000 annual award is guaranteed to all qualifying students who participate in this agreement.
"Alvernia aims to expand educational access and opportunity for local students," said Flynn. "By partnering with RACC and investing in the futures of these students, we will continue to be a place of transformational opportunity for students of all backgrounds and means from Reading and the surrounding communities."