In an effort to increase transfer recruitment, Binghamton University is working with local community colleges to develop a new program known as the 2+You initiative.

This initiative will give students the opportunity to seamlessly transition from a community college into BU. However, rather than transferring after one year, 2+You involves transferring after obtaining an associate’s degree from one’s respective community college. This will allow students to reap the benefits of attending both a two-year and four-year institution.

Donald Loewen, vice provost for undergraduate education and an associate professor of Russian studies, noted the importance of having transfer students attend BU and how this is being affected by the decline in community college admissions.

“We obviously need to bring in transfer students,” Loewen said. “That’s part of what makes our University great and diverse in terms of the perspectives. Transfer recruitment, however, has been increasingly challenging for us in part because there has steadily been a decline in students at community colleges.”

According to Loewen, the University is aiming to accept 300 transfer students in the spring, and the increasing difficulty of transfer recruitment has prompted the start of the 2+You program.

“We have a new initiative that we call 2+You, where we work with community colleges to develop pipelines where their students will complete an associate’s degree,” Loewen said. “And then we have a pathway and a trajectory where they know they’re going to be accepted into [BU] and be able to graduate in another two years.”

The 2+You program was inspired by the Binghamton Advantage Program (BAP), a joint admissions program between the University and Broome Community College (BCC). BAP allows students to take classes at BCC while living on the BU campus, giving them the opportunity to transfer after one or two years.

The 2+You program differs from BAP in that it requires students to obtain an associate’s degree before transferring to BU. Gabriela Arreaga-Rusnaczyk, a junior majoring in art and design, said she would have considered 2+You had it been offered when she applied to BU.

“As a former BAP student, I can speak for many when I say that one year in community college is not enough,” Arreaga-Rusnaczyk said. “Although I had somewhat of a sense of what a four-year institution would be like after attending BCC for a year, I think an additional year at BCC would’ve allowed for a smoother transition into BU.”

While the BAP program gives students the opportunity to experience community college, it does not allow them choose which one they would like to attend, as all students enrolled in the program must attend BCC. The 2+You program, on the other hand, includes an array of community colleges. Kiara Farfan, a junior majoring in business administration, said she liked the idea of giving students a number of community colleges to choose from.

“It’s good to have multiple schools in the mix,” Farfan said. “Not every community college will suit each incoming student. Therefore, having more than one option will ultimately make students’ transition into BU a lot smoother.”

Arreaga-Rusnaczyk said she is confident that the initiative will help increase the number of students that apply to the University.

“I believe a program like this will give high school graduates an incentive to attend BU,” Arreaga-Rusnaczy said. “Many of these students do not meet the requirements for admission into the University straight out of high school. Others find going directly into a four-year institution intimidating and a waste of money. For those who ultimately want to smoothly transfer to BU and obtain a bachelor’s degree at the end of their four years, this is a great option.”