- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2003

RICHMOND (AP) — A task force appointed by Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore yesterday began examining Virginia’s hodgepodge of transfer agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions.

The Task Force on Access to Higher Education also is investigating ways to improve distance learning and work force training.

Task force member John Padgett, a member of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, said there are about 80 transfer agreements among Virginia two-year and four-year colleges, each with its set of rules. He described the transfer landscape as “somewhat chaotic.”

The agreements spell out the criteria under which students can transfer from two-year to four-year colleges.

Among the issues the task force should consider, Mr. Padgett said, is “whether we let the highly selective colleges off the hook on transfers” and steer those students to other designated universities.

Tidewater Community College President Deborah M. DiCroce, another task force member, said transfer policies are “a work in progress” because of the ever-changing nature of higher education.

“Don’t look for a magic fix. There just isn’t one,” she said. “Access should be approached from multiple angles.”

Mr. Kilgore told the task force that its mission is much narrower than that of previous commissions, which have taken a broad look at higher education.

“We’re not asking you to reinvent the wheel,” he said.

He asked the panel to make recommendations in October so that any necessary legislation can be drafted in time for the 2004 General Assembly in January.

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