Representatives from Tarrant County Community College and Stephen F. Austin State University recently signed articulation agreements to ensure a seamless transition for Tarrant County students pursuing a bachelor's degree in education at SFA. Pictured are, seated from left, Dr. John Jacobson, dean of SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education; Dr. Richard Berry, SFA provost; Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president; and Dr. Robert Aguero, Tarrant County College District vice chancellor for learning support services. Also pictured, standing from left, are SFA representatives Susan Barber, Ashley Johnson and Paula Griffin; Dr. Faye Murphy, Tarrant County College District director of program development; SFA representatives Dr. Janice Pattillo, Dr. Mary Nelle Brunson, Tara Newman, Dr. Marie Saracino and Dr. Lynda Martin; and, from Tarrant County College District, Stephanie Scroggins, program coordinator for child development, and Patijean Cates, assistant professor of child development.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University has signed articulation agreements with the Tarrant County College District that will assist students who complete an associate degree in teaching during their transition into programs at SFA.

Although SFA and the Tarrant County College District have been working together informally for several years, the formal agreement is the result of a federal grant designed to provide resources to SFA's community college partners for collaboration.

"The grant has helped us work closely with community colleges in assisting paraprofessionals working in Texas classrooms to earn a degree and teacher certification. It has also helped us to modify our existing online curriculum for early childhood through sixth grade to include language development content that will improve the effectiveness of teachers in the elementary classroom," said Dr. John Jacobson, dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education. "We've also introduced Web-cam technology to help with the supervision of student interns and improve classroom effectiveness and instruction."

The agreements include programs that allow Tarrant County students to transition into programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies with early childhood through 6th grade or 4th grade through 8th grade certification.

"These programs are completely online, and participants only have to come to campus once a semester," said Dr. Janice Pattillo, chairwoman of the Department of Elementary Education.

Another agreement pertains to a Bachelor of Science degree in child development and family completer program where students may transfer and attend classes on the SFA campus or, beginning in fall 2009, complete the degree online.

Dr. Robert Aguero, Tarrant County College District's vice chancellor for learning support services, participated in the signing. Aguero earned a master's degree in education from SFA in 1979.

Seventeen new transfer students from the Tarrant County College District enrolled at SFA this fall, and Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, said he hopes the articulation agreement will cause that number to increase. Currently 30 percent of SFA students come from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"It is important to me, as a former transfer student at SFA, to assist transfer students and to make the transition to the university as easy as possible," he said. "I am happy about these new agreements, and especially happy to have Dr. Aguero, an SFA alum, back on the campus to assist in making the agreements official."

There are approximately 48,000 students enrolled at TCCD campuses in Fort Worth, Hurst and Arlington.