CSM enters into transfer agreement with Virginia Tech
Will aid students wanting to major in construction, real estate
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.