CSM en­ters into trans­fer agree­ment with Vir­ginia Tech

Will aid stu­dents want­ing to ma­jor in con­struc­tion, real estate

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

It will now be eas­ier for Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land stu­dents in­ter­ested in build­ing con­struc­tion and real estate to trans­fer to one of the re­gion’s most pres­ti­gious four-year col­leges.

On Wed­nes­day, CSM signed a guar­an­teed ad­mis­sion ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ment with Vir­ginia Polytech­nic In­sti­tute and State Univer­sity in Blacks­burg, Va., also known as Vir­ginia Tech.

The agree­ment al­lows CSM stu­dents who grad­u­ate with an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree and min­i­mum grade point av­er­age to re­ceive guar­an­teed ad­mis­sion to Vir­ginia Tech’s un­der­grad­u­ate build­ing con­struc­tion and real estate pro­grams.

“This is a very his­toric mo­ment for us,” said col­lege Pres­i­dent Bradley Got­tfried. “To have an agree­ment with Vir­ginia Tech Univer­sity is very, very spe­cial … we’re very priv­i­leged to be the first [com­mu­nity col­lege] in­sti­tu­tion out-of-state that has an agree­ment with Vir­ginia Tech Univer­sity.”

Yvan J. Be­liv­eau, depart­ment head of build­ing con­struc­tion at Vir­ginia Tech, said this is the first time the four-year col­lege has signed a guar­an­teed ad­mis­sion agree­ment with an out-of­s­tate com­mu­nity col­lege.

Be­liv­eau said he was im­pressed with CSM’s fo­cus on pre­par­ing stu­dents to at­tend four-year col­leges.

“This com­mu­nity col­lege re­ally works hard to help pre­pare stu­dents to go be­yond an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree,” Be­liv­eau said. “That is not nec­es­sar­ily a driv­ing mo­ti­va­tion for most com­mu­nity col­leges.”

Eileen Abel, CSM’s vice pres­i­dent of aca­demic af­fairs, said Vir­ginia Tech’s build­ing con­struc­tion bac- calau­re­ate pro­gram has 100 per­cent job place­ment, and that the me­dian start­ing salary is $60,000.

Got­tfried said that, com­pared to when he was a com­mu­nity col­lege stu­dent, the fo­cus for many is on trans­fer to a four-year col­lege.

“Ap­prox­i­mately 60 per­cent of our stu­dents ex­pect to trans­fer, and it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to have a path­way for them,” Got­tfried said. “It’s these types of ar­range­ments that re­ally make the tran­si­tion easy for them.”

Got­tfried said the ris­ing cost of col­leges and stu­dent loan debt are rea­sons many stu­dents at­tend a com­mu­nity col­lege be­fore trans­fer­ring to a four-year col­lege.

“We be­lieve that for many stu­dents … start­ing at a com­mu­nity col­lege and then trans­fer­ring to a fouryear in­sti­tu­tion makes per­fect sense,” Got­tfried said. “You grad­u­ate with the same de­gree, whether you started there as a fresh­man, or you trans­ferred.”

Wanda Hank­ins Dean, vice provost of en­roll­ment and de­gree man­age­ment at Vir­ginia Tech, said creat­ing means to wel­come new trans­fer stu­dents is cen­tral to the school

“One of our core val­ues is in creat­ing path­ways for higher ed ad­vance­ment,” Dean said. “We re­ally want to find ways to make these ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ments work.”

Got­tfried said CSM has ap­prox­i­mately 50 ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ments with other col­leges.

Got­tfried said the agree­ment would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the as­sis- tance of Fran­cis “Frank” Chaney, chair­man of the board for Wal­dorf-based con­crete com­pany Chaney En­ter­prises and him­self a 1979 alum­nus of Vir­ginia Tech.

“If it weren’t for Frank Chaney, I don’t be­lieve we would be here today,” Got­tfried said. “His pas­sion en­com­passes South­ern Mary­land, Mary­land and Vir­ginia Tech.”

Chaney said creat­ing a path­way for stu­dents in build­ing con­struc­tion has been a dream of his for many years, and he said he was proud to help fa­cil­i­tate meet­ings be­tween CSM and Vir­ginia Tech staff.

“This is a pipeline for kids to seize hope, es­pe­cially those who don’t have much hope,” Chaney said. “We’ve got a lot of kids in the world who need to find some­thing they can fall in love with.”



Yvan Be­liv­eau, build­ing con­struc­tion depart­ment head for Vir­ginia Tech, Wanda Hank­ins Dean, Vir­ginia Tech vice provost, Bradley Got­tfried, pres­i­dent of the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, and Eileen Abel, vice pres­i­dent of aca­demic af­fairs for CSM, sign copies of a guar­an­teed ad­mis­sion ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ment for CSM stu­dents trans­fer­ring to Vir­ginia Tech’s build­ing con­struc­tion and real estate pro­grams.

Fran­cis “Frank” Chaney, chair­man of Wal­dorf-based Chaney En­ter­prises, dis­cusses bring­ing to­gether Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land of­fi­cials with those at his alma mater, Vir­ginia Tech, to de­velop a guar­an­teed ad­mis­sion ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ment be­tween the two schools for the ma­jors of build­ing con­struc­tion and real estate.

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