As students sit for exams this week at Meridian Community College, they can only hope these courses transfer to a four-year university, if they plan on continuing their education.
"It is incumbent upon us to be aware of the different degree requirements at the different universities around Mississippi and to counsel our students the best we can in that endeavor," said MCC president Dr. Scott Elliott.
But there are situations where students may receive poor counseling or for some other reason take the wrong classes that don't transfer. And when that happens, Sen. Videt Carmichael, chair of the Senate Education Committee, says students can get discouraged.
For this reason, both Elliott and Carmichael are working on a graduation rate task force that aims to resolve these issues. There are formal policies and agreements in place for course transfer, but a policy audit this fall showed most arrangements are negotiated on an institution by institution basis.
"I think it is just good stewardship and we owe it to the taxpayers to make the process as seamless as possible," said Carmichael.
The state College Board is expected to review a policy in February that will more clearly identify community college classes that qualify for university credit. If no policy is carried out, some state lawmakers have expressed desire to craft legislation that would address the issue. Carmichael says he hopes it doesn't come to that.
According to the Mississippi Board for Community and Junior Colleges, there are more than 70,000 students in the state's fifteen 2-year schools. Almost three-quarters of them are taking classes with plans to transfer to a four-year university.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.