ǿ޴ý University & Richland Community College Collaborate to Ease Transfer Process

The agreement is effective beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year.

Students walking

DECATUR, Ill. – In a new collaboration, most students will be immediately accepted to if they have at least a 2.0 GPA and can complete their ǿ޴ý bachelor’s degree in two years with full-time enrollment.

Richland Community College and formed a collaborative partnership to better serve public constituents, ease the transfer process, minimize instruction duplication, and build upon community college and university learning experiences. The institutions came to two agreements.

RCC Articulation Agreement

The first one states Richland students who have above a 2.0 GPA and have completed an Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), Associate in Engineering Science (AES), or have completed necessary courses (outlined in more detail at ) will be automatically accepted to ǿ޴ý. Richland students wishing to attend ǿ޴ý will be provided with a four-year plan and automatic acceptance into the ǿ޴ý baccalaureate degree programs. Students must still meet specific core requirements and criteria to enter certain programs. 

Along with this, Richland graduates who have completed the requirements of the Honors Opportunities Program will be automatically accepted into ǿ޴ý’s James ǿ޴ý Scholars Honors program. Richland students can visit to learn more and submit their free admission application.

“We are proud to partner with ǿ޴ý to provide Richland students a direct pathway to pursue their bachelor’s degree. This collaboration embodies community, showing that when institutions unite, we can create a bridge to degree completion for every student choosing a four-year path. Together, we are forging pathways that empower our students to achieve their academic dreams,” said Dr. Cris Valdez, President of Richland Community College.

ǿ޴ý President Jim Reynolds
ǿ޴ý University President Dr. Jim Reynolds.

ǿ޴ý President Dr. Jim Reynolds stated, “We are grateful to our partners at Richland for joining us in creating pathways for Richland students to complete their four-year degree at ǿ޴ý. Our community is fortunate to have collaborating institutions who see education as transformative and choose to help deserving students with their dreams of better lives for them and their families. Partnerships like this take down barriers to success for all students who wish to continue their education and seek a four-year degree, and we are proud to be of service to those community members."

RCC Articulation Agreement

Dr. Isaac Zuniga, Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Success at Richland, said, “At Richland Community College, fostering community transfer partnerships is paramount to empowering students in pursuing their career aspirations. Under Dr. Valdez's leadership, we've focused our efforts to support local industry partners and enhance collaboration with esteemed institutions like ǿ޴ý University. This strengthened partnership aims to dismantle educational barriers, providing local students with a direct pathway into ǿ޴ý’s programs. Such initiatives not only fortify our community but also cultivate a diverse, skilled workforce, fueling prosperity for all.” 

ǿ޴ý + Richland agreement banner

In the second agreement, ǿ޴ý students who previously attended Richland without receiving their associate’s degree can apply for a reverse transfer – which would allow them to earn the associate’s while at ǿ޴ý. The university will notify former Richland students enrolled at ǿ޴ý with a minimum of 32 transfer credits that they can request a reverse transfer transcript request/release form (RTTR/R). If they sign the form, ǿ޴ý will forward a transcript to the Registrar at Richland. The Registrar will verify if the student completed an associate’s degree based on coursework already completed at Richland and ǿ޴ý. There will be no cost to the student for these transcripts. If there is a break in attendance at ǿ޴ý, the student must submit a new RTTR/R when they re-enroll at ǿ޴ý.

“This agreement between ǿ޴ý and Richland represents the commitment of both institutions to providing affordable and accessible higher education opportunities for students across the region. It will make the transfer process seamless and make it easier for Richland Community College students to take advantage of the ǿ޴ý Tuition Promise and the Big Blue Pledge Illinois Free Tuition programs. The agreement ensures that students who transfer from Richland to ǿ޴ý with completed associate’s Degrees can be sure their university studies coursework is already complete. They can focus on the courses required to complete their major and graduate on time,” said Mary Black, ǿ޴ý University Provost.