Is the ADT (Associate Degree for Transfer) Pathway Right for You?

by Ashley Eneriz

If you’re hoping to earn your bachelor’s degree, remember: there isn’t just one way to go about it. You can use a few different strategies to accomplish your goal and graduate from college, one of which is earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, also known as an ADT.

An ADT is a guaranteed pathway for transfer from a community college into a four-year university. But is it the right pathway for you? Here’s what you need to know.

How Does the ADT Pathway Work?

An Associate Degree for Transfer allows community college students to earn an associate degree and ensures acceptance as a transfer student to a four-year college or university in the program. Students who transfer with an approved ADT degree will enter the university as a junior and complete their bachelor’s degree in no more than 68 units if they follow an academic plan. Approved ADT pathways include English, theater arts, business, and design studies, among others.

The ADT pathway makes it much easier for students to transfer between a community college and a university, according to Mona Thaxter, undergraduate registrar at Azusa Pacific University. For example, she says that at APU, students have the opportunity to complete two degrees with only 120 units; if they apply and meet minimum eligibility requirements, they will be admitted into an approved similar degree program at APU to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Why Choose the ADT Pathway?

Not every high school graduate is ready to move on to a university; this might be due to finances, transcripts, or because the student hasn’t decided on his or her major.

Attending a community college first is a great option if you need to boost your grades or want to try out a few classes before choosing a degree to pursue. An ADT program reduces the need to take unnecessary courses, effectively shortening your time to degree completion and reducing the overall cost.

It’s also a good choice for working professionals who are looking to advance their career but don’t have time for the traditional four-year college experience. If you’re balancing a job or other commitments along with your studies, you can earn your associate degree at an approved community college and then work toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree. For instance, as part of APU’s professional bachelor’s completion programs, you can earn a degree in criminal justice, psychology, or business at one of APU’s regional campuses in the High Desert, Inland Empire, Murrieta, or San Diego.

What APU Offers ADT Students

Azusa Pacific University has always been a transfer-friendly school, but with the new ADT program in place, you can have guaranteed acceptance if you meet the requirements. Heather Petridis, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management at APU, notes that, “Under a new agreement, signed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, students will be guaranteed acceptance and afforded a more seamless pathway to APU in select majors."

APU will still consider transfer applicants each year. However, transferring outside of the ADT pathway means there is always a chance your application will not be accepted. And, unlike the ADT option, not all of your community college classes may transfer as credits toward your university degree. It’s important to note that as an ADT applicant, you will receive priority admission and the guarantee that you can finish your bachelor’s degree in no more than 68 units, which is equivalent to four semesters (or two years) if you take 18 units a semester. There is no potential confusion as to which units count, since the ADT program fulfils most lower-division general education requirements at APU.

Petridis herself was a transfer student from a local community college and says she chose APU due to the school’s supportive environment, small class size, and consistently high graduation rates. Even if you are unsure if APU is the right school for you, the ADT pathway can help you gain transfer acceptance to many California colleges and universities, since the program satisfies the IGETC/CSU Breadth certification. A guaranteed ADT program takes the guesswork out of transferring schools and is a great solution for community college students and working professionals.

Does the Associate Degree for Transfer pathway sound like an opportunity you’d be interested in pursuing? Learn more about the different possibilities offered at Azusa Pacific University.

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