Program gives new pathway to RIT for students of area community colleges

Monroe, Finger Lakes and Genesee Community colleges sign on for pilot program
Overhead view of students working on laptops at table.

Gabrielle Plucknette-DeVito

Under the new program, first-year students at Monroe, Finger Lakes or Genesee Community colleges can enroll to complete a bachelor’s degree from RIT’s Saunders College of Business, College of Liberal Arts or School of Individualized Study.

Three area community colleges have signed an agreement that offers their students a new pathway to a bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology.

“This program works well for students who aren’t quite ready for the rigors of a university, who may need additional classes or who hadn’t even considered a four-year program,” said Marian Nicoletti, RIT’s director of undergraduate admission. “We’ve got a great pathway for them here.”

Under the new program, first-year students at Monroe, Finger Lakes or Genesee Community colleges can enroll to complete a bachelor’s degree from RIT’s Saunders College of Business, College of Liberal Arts or School of Individualized Study. To qualify, students must take a required set of courses at the community college and maintain at least a 2.8 grade-point average.

“Approximately 70 percent of MCC students enroll in transfer programs each year because our dedicated faculty, academic programs and support services match and, at times, exceed their expectations,” said Christine Casalinuovo-Adams, MCC associate vice president of enrollment. “The academic rigor MCC offers prepares students to take their next steps with confidence and opens doors to future success.”

The students would attend RIT for their second year, and after completing that year, would receive their associate degree from their community college. They would then go on to finish their bachelor’s degree from RIT, Nicoletti said.

“This innovative partnership with RIT shows that students can take many paths to achieve their goals,” FLCC President Robert Nye said. “Community colleges can provide the extra support and guidance some students need in that critical first year to build a firm foundation for future success. We are proud to partner with RIT for this initiative.”

“Genesee Community College is delighted to provide students with another transfer opportunity,” said Kristen Hargrave, GCC’s transfer coordinator. “The value of an RIT education, degree and network offers life-changing benefits. This collaboration illustrates to students that starting at a community college not only saves tuition dollars, but also allows them to ramp-up academically.”

Nicoletti said RIT hopes to enroll students in this program beginning with the semester that commences in January 2020.

“This is a pilot program, and if it’s successful, we’d like to expand it to other academic programs at RIT,” Nicoletti said. “Our goal is to keep local students in this area, so they get their degrees and settle here.”


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