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ASU, Maricopa Community Colleges streamline pathway to degrees

March 14, 2011

Alesha Pinet transferred to Arizona State University from Glendale Community College this spring, confident that all her classes would apply toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Yvonne Burns transferred from Chandler-Gilbert Community College with the same assurance, knowing she could enter the ASU communications program as a junior.

Both had signed up for the Maricopa to ASU Pathways Program (MAPP) early in their college careers. It guaranteed them admission to ASU and into their major if they completed a prescribed sequence of courses which would transfer and apply toward a degree. They were guided by advisers at both institutions, to make the process smooth.

ASU and the Maricopa Community Colleges have announced that the MAPP partnership is expanding to 125 majors, from the 92 which have been available. New options include sustainability, secondary education, art and earth and space exploration.

Students benefit by taking only courses that apply to their chosen major, speeding up degree completion, and from tuition incentives. The partnership offers more student advising and better sharing of data and information to make the transfer process smooth.

Pinet set her sights on ASU because she wants to be a child psychologist. She wanted to work in a research lab and enroll in Barrett, the Honors College.

“Because I used the MAPP program, there was no question what classes I needed to take (at the community college),” she says. “The counselors and professors were very helpful with any questions I had and also encouraged me to get involved in things such as the ASU honors college. The best thing about ASU is the one-on-one learning with a professor in the lab.”

Burns wanted to enroll at ASU because it’s a tradition in her family to be a Sun Devil. She also wants to go to law school, to become an attorney specializing in employment and contract law.

“I received advice and encouragement when I sought out my adviser at Chandler-Gilbert,” says Burns. “Now that I’ve started my classes at ASU, I feel as though things are falling into place. My adviser at ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was extremely helpful in getting the last of my loose ends tied up and making sure I knew which direction to head from there. My professors have been a great source of information.”

All three state universities, including the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University, have a goal to double the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state by 2020. To meet that goal, ASU has been partnering with community colleges around the state to help more students transfer successfully to the university

“We’ve had partnerships with the Maricopa Community Colleges for a long time, but the new programs propel us forward,” says Maria Hesse, ASU vice provost for transfer partnerships. “In addition to the MAPP, we have an RN-BSN pathway program for students who are pursuing an associate degree in nursing at one of the Maricopa Community Colleges.

“We’re making every effort to offer a streamlined process, providing transfer students with the most efficient and cost-effective pathway to an ASU bachelor’s degree.”

About 3,800 Maricopa community college students currently are signed up for the MAPP, including nursing students in the RN-BSN program. More than 300 students at rural community colleges have signed up for a similar transfer admission guarantee program with ASU.

Students in the MAPP complete an associate’s degree and the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) and step right into an ASU bachelor’s degree program as juniors. The program was initially made available in October 2009.

"The Maricopa-ASU Pathways Program offers a great opportunity for students to complete an associate's degree at one of the Maricopa colleges and then a bachelor’s degree at ASU,” says Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost for the Maricopa Community Colleges. “Adding more majors to the MAPPs broadens access for our students to a high quality and affordable education.”

Holly Schramm says her transfer to ASU last fall from Scottsdale Community College was easy.

“I’m getting my B.S. in family and human development, in an online program,” she says. “I like the convenience and the fact that it’s a reputable school. I also like the scholarship opportunities that come with excelling grades.”

For more information on all of the pathway programs currently available through ASU and the Maricopa Community Colleges, visit