Brooke McGregor took an unconventional route to earning a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
After working several jobs that did not require a degree, McGregor decided in 2008 to attend Collin College. At the time, she didn’t know what she wanted to do professionally but knew she wanted to remain local and eventually transfer to a university.
Shortly after attending classes at Collin College, McGregor learned about its Collin Higher Education Center in McKinney and the benefits that the college’s unique pre-admission program offers.
“Going back to school was hard enough, and Collin College’s pre-admission program allowed for as smooth of a time as possible for my transition back into college,” says McGregor, who credits the pre-admission program with helping her obtain her bachelor’s degree from TAMU-Commerce.
“I had wonderful professors who genuinely took interest in my coursework and personal career goals,” McGregor says. “I plan to teach at an elementary school this fall, and through Collin College’s pre-admission partnership agreement with TAMU-Commerce, I reached my goal quickly and efficiently.”
Cost and Time Savings
McGregor says that entering the preadmission program saved her and her parents’ money and time.
“I was not willing to waste time and Money on classes I wasn’t sure about taking,” McGregor explains. “I took advantage of several advisers – both at Collin College and TAMU-Commerce – who helped me figure out what classes I needed and when I could take them.The classes at Collin College were less expensive. And since I was working part-time, this was a very big selling point to me.”
So much so, that McGregor took every class available at Collin College that would transfer to TAMU-Commerce.
“I live close to Collin College’s Spring Creek Campus and the convenience of this program was a huge selling point,” McGregor notes.
As she juggled work and school, Mc- Gregor was concerned about being able to take classes she needed at times that would work for her schedule. It turned out that she had nothing to worry about.
“The availability of classes, schedules and campuses make Collin College’s pre-admission program easily adaptable to almost anyone’s schedule,” she says. “Without any huge road blocks in My way, I was driven to finish. I think I would have gotten discouraged if the program was not so smooth.”
Students like McGregor and Austin McBride, another pre-admission program enrollee, have learned first-hand that Collin College works to make higher education attainable and as worry-free as possible.
“The pre-admission program helps students easily transition from a twoyear institution to a four-year institution,” says McBride, who currently attends Southern Methodist University, where he is an Economics with Financial Applications major. “The relationship I developed with SMU due to my involvement in Collin College’s pre-admission partnership program helped me in my decision to apply for admissions.”
Because of the help he received from Collin College’s pre-admission program, McBride is on track to graduate from SMU in May 2013. After graduation, McBride plans to attend law school.
“Had it not been for Collin College’s pre-admission program, I might not have ultimately decided to attend SMU,” says McBride, who graduated from Collin College with an associate’s degree in 2010. “The pre-admission program is a great tool for students who are transferring to a four-year university and it should be one of the first few steps a student takes before they transfer.”
That’s because, McBride says, developing a relationship with the admissions staff at a university you are considering will help you make the best decision on where to ultimately transfer.
A Transcending Opportunity
Providing opportunities to students such as McBride and McGregor was the goal behind Collin College becoming the first Texas community college to offer a pre-admission program.
Collin College’s first pre-admission agreement was with the University of North Texas in 2001. Since then, the program – designed for qualified students Who want to begin their university experience while attending Collin College – has expanded to 10 university pre-admission partners.
In addition to UNT, participating partners include Austin College, Baylor University, Dallas Baptist University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University and The University of Texas at Dallas.
“Students who take advantage of the Pre-admission program receive special benefits from each university partner,” explains Dr. Brenda Kihl, vice president and provost of Collin College’s Preston Ridge Campus.
“Benefits vary but include guaranteed admission, faculty advisors, application fee waivers, library utilization and admission to university [partner] events and guaranteed tuition rates,” she says.
At any given time, between 350 and 500 Collin College students are pre-admitted to partner universities, including the five – UNT, UT Dallas, DBU, A&M Commerce and TWU – that offer bachelor’s and graduate degrees at the Collin Higher Education Center, Kihl says.
“Students in the pre-admission programs can start the relationship with their transfer university years before transferring,” she says. “This ensures a smooth transition to the university and early degree planning.”
And, Kihl says, “pre-admission is the best way to connect to potential transfer universities to determine if that university is the best fit for the last two years of your undergraduate education.”
Students who are interested in learning more about the pre-admission program are encouraged to call 972-985- 3734 or visit http://transferu.collin.edu /ub.html.
About the author: Justin Jones is a public relations writer for Collin College.