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ASU Academic Alliances, Maricopa Community Colleges boost student mobility between institutions

People gathered in a room filled with people tabling different ASU programs

Attendees gather for the Maricopa Community College "Fields of Interest" open house at the ASU Tempe campus. Courtesy photo

April 23, 2024

The Maricopa Community Colleges stand as one of the leading sources of transfer students to Arizona State University, with ASU enrolling over 15,000 transfer students from the Maricopa Community Colleges since 2020.

Led by ASU’s Academic Alliances and Academic Transfer Credit Solutions, the development of the MyPath2ASU suite of transfer tools has played a pivotal role in helping to increase university transfer and retention rates of transfer students by providing a clear pathway to follow into their ASU major of choice.

Since its inception, Academic Alliances has served over 36,000 Maricopa Community College learners through MyPath2ASU. 

"Our collaboration hinges on the shared commitment of both ASU and Maricopa Community Colleges to student success," says Annique Petit, ASU’s senior director of Academic Alliances. "We aim for a seamless transfer experience between institutions, minimizing credit loss and saving students time and money as they pursue their aspirations.

"ASU and the Maricopa Community Colleges share a mission: to guide students through higher education and ensure their degree completion."

Academic Alliances has not only enhanced partnerships with all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges to educate students and staff on the benefits of MyPath2ASU, but has also developed programs that support students’ transfer journeys.

Academic Alliances team members developed an inaugural on-campus event for Maricopa Community College advisors and staff to learn about the interplay of Maricopa Community College’s "fields of interest" — or FOI — with ASU’s academic units. 

Organizing their majors according to nine fields of interest, this design was implemented to assist students in identifying career paths and subsequent degree and certificate options available in their chosen field. 

“The alliance and alignment with the FOIs are absolutely critical. When you’re working at the Maricopa Community Colleges, every single department has the FOI in mind," says Julie Sperrazza, academic analyst at Scottsdale Community College. “We have FOI communities, meetings and websites, and advisors are assigned per FOI. So, everything is aligned with this through the guided pathways system adopted by the Maricopa Community Colleges.” 

Event attendees talking to the ASU academic units
Maricopa Community College attendees talk with staff from ASU's academic units at the event. Courtesy photo

To showcase the ASU and Maricopa Community Colleges FOI alignment, Academic Alliances hosted an open-house fair at the ASU Tempe campus on April 17. Participants from ASU’s academic units were arranged at information tables affiliated with each FOI.

Richard Frische, ASU’s associate director of transfer recruitment, shared the importance of these collaborative efforts for student success.

“The transfer student journey can be very nuanced and often requires detailed academic planning starting from day one at the community college," he says. "To this end, it is incredibly important to facilitate deep connections between community college advisors and their counterparts at the university. This event helps us make significant progress toward that goal. Together, we can set our students up for university success even before they transfer to Arizona State University.”

Academic Transfer Credit Solutions staff presented on ASU’s new general studies requirements and the benefits of MyPath2ASU in mapping pathways that align with each FOI.

Representatives from ASU’s Admission Services, Barrett, The Honors College and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center were also in attendance to answer questions and provide additional information.

More than 50 participants from nine of the Maricopa Community Colleges attended the event. Attendees said that staff from ASU’s academic units were able to successfully illustrate how the FOIs effectively apply to majors at ASU, and that having this opportunity to connect was very beneficial for supporting student transfer.

“The greatest strength of the Maricopa-ASU partnership is the staff and student relationships built across both institutions, which help prospective transfer students navigate the complicated process of transferring” said Art de la Cruz, student services manager at Rio Salado College.

“Events such as the Maricopa Community Colleges FOI open house bring transfer admissions specialists, advisors, colleges and students together to update, collaborate and plan for the success of our students.”

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