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September 17, 2021

Making Community College Transfer Simple

Director of Transfer Education tells how Washington state is making transfer easier, more affordable

Jamilyn Penn is the Director of Transfer Education for Washington's State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). 

How does the SBCTC make the transfer process easier for students?

SBCTC's partnerships with four-year public and four-year private colleges throughout Washington State is good. SBCTC's on-going work with Joint Transfer Council (JTC) and Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC) has helped to make the transfer for students in the state more manageable. 

Jamilyn Penn Jamilyn Penn

What advice would you give a community college student thinking about their transfer options?

Washington state offers some of the best transfer options in the nation. In particular, the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) allows students who have completed general studies and aligned program coursework to transfer into the junior year of study at some of the four-year institutions in the state. Transfer options like this make pursuing a four-year degree less time-consuming and more affordable. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about going back to school?

Just do it! Community colleges, in particular, offer so many options and pathways to return to school. Additionally, there is support, including funding, to help you to return, study, and earn the credentials—certificate to degree—that you want. 

What is the best part of your job?

Helping colleges bring to fruition educational opportunities and pathways for diverse student populations.

Tell us something about your role or department that students may not know about?

During the 2021-2022 legislative session, Washington community and technical colleges were granted the opportunity to offer the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BS in CS) degree. This is a new degree pathway for the sector, and we are working diligently to provide the resources necessary for colleges to apply for this opportunity, which may occur in December 2021. We are also having a great conversation around building an LPN-to-BSN Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA). 

What did your educational journey look like?

Traditional high school, then a four-year college undergraduate degree, a master's degree from a four-year college, and finally a doctorate (EdD).

What helps you be successful in your career?

What helps me in my career is asking lots of questions, being open to new and innovative strategies that positively impact students' lives, staying apprised of legislative requirements and opportunities, and taking time to rest and refuel. 

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