Addressing a 16-year-high in global talent shortages, a new seamless path from associate to master’s degree has been created through an articulation agreement between Reading Area Community College (RACC) and the Albright College School of Professional Studies. The agreement enables community college graduates to earn a master’s degree in a little over two years, as compared to the 10-year national average. Academic scholarships will be awarded to qualified RACC students admitted to Albright.
“This innovative new pathway is the first of its kind, and it couldn’t come at a more important time,” said Albright President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D.
President Fetrow speaks during an event announcing the RACC to Albright agreement.
President Fetrow explains how the new Associate to Master’s Degree agreement creates a seamless transition for RACC associate degree graduates to transition to Albright bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Photo by John Pankratz.
Although a small number of pathways exist for associate degree students to earn advanced degrees in a single field of study (such as nursing), the RACC-to-Albright pathway addresses skilled labor shortages across a range of fields, from business and marketing, to psychology research, and education.
Right now, three out of four employers across all major industries are reporting difficulty finding the talent they need.” said Fetrow. “This fall, the National Education Association estimated a shortage of roughly 300,000 teachers and staff across the nation, particularly in rural districts and where special education and STEM teachers are in high demand. This new pathway aims to address that shortage and others like it, by helping working adults shift into high demand roles more quickly.”
“We’ve built this innovative pathway to empower adults to earn multiple degrees at a top-ranked institution, faster and for less than just a bachelor’s degree at most other colleges,” said Boris Vilic, dean of Albright’s School of Professional Studies. “The pathway allows students to complete a bachelor’s and master’s for the cost of a single degree at another college.”
Building on a previously established Guaranteed Transfer Admissions agreement for RACC associate graduates to earn bachelor’s degrees at Albright, the new Associate to Master’s Degree agreement creates a seamless transition for associate degree graduates to transition to bachelor’s degrees, followed by master’s degree programs at Albright.
Pictured (left to right): Boris Vilic, Karen Campbell, Jacque Fetrow, Susan Looney, Cynthia Seaman and Kevin Coots.
Signers include (left to right) Boris Vilic, Karen Campbell, Jacque Fetrow, Susan Looney, Cynthia Seaman and Kevin Coots. Photo by John Pankratz.
“Our graduates are highly valued by our college and university partners, and we are excited that Dr. Fetrow and Albright College have committed to a seamless transfer to their master’s degree programs,” said RACC President, Susan Looney, Ed.D., J.D.
While the length of time for students to complete Albright bachelor’s and master’s degrees vary by degree program, most RACC associate degree graduates can complete their bachelor’s degree within two years of part-time study. Albright College master’s degrees are designed to be completed in one year.
Reading Area Community College graduates will complete as few as eight classes for their Albright bachelor’s degree (compared to an average of 20 classes at other institutions) and 10 classes for their Albright master’s degree. The seamless transfer applies to any of Albright’s graduate level degrees: Master of Arts/Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Business, Master of Science in athletic leadership and Master of Science in applied psychology.
“As anchor institutions in Berks County, Albright College and Reading Area Community College are proud to work together to offer world-class educational opportunities for the betterment of our community’s families and businesses,” said Fetrow.