Massachusetts Advantage Plus (MAP) Program
We are pleased to announce the UMass Lowell Massachusetts Advantage Plus (MAP) Program for community college students seeking to transfer to the Lowell campus.
The program enhances the state's existing Tuition Advantage Program (TAP). Massachusetts state Community College students who have earned an Associate's degree in a Mass Transfer-approved program and maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average, will receive a full-tuition waiver at UMass Lowell. This tuition waiver will be primarily subsidized by UMass Lowell institutional funds. Students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average will continue to receive the waiver for up to four semesters.
The state's current TAP program reduces by one-third the state college or University tuition for qualified transfer students.
The UMass Lowell Massachusetts Advantage Plus Program has been developed to provide a similar level of support as is found in the program launched this spring by UMass Amherst. We join Gov. Deval Patrick in applauding the UMass Amherst initiative.
In recent years UMass Lowell has instituted a number of its own initiatives to foster a seamless, friendly and supportive transition for community college students.
The Honors Program
The University is pleased to have instituted the policy of the state-wide Commonwealth Honors Program by guaranteeing admission to UMass Lowell's Commonwealth Honors Program to those students enrolled in comparable programs at the community college level. UMass Lowell has a vibrant honors program, which provides enriched academic opportunities for students eager to test their limits. The program, which offers Honors Housing and close ties with honors faculty advisors, emphasizes research, scholarship, service learning and community engagement. Community college honors courses are automatically accepted at all levels of coursework.
UMass Lowell has just celebrated its first class of inductees into a chapter of Tau Sigma, the national Honor Society dedicated to acknowledging the academic accomplishments of transfer students. This chapter has been an active force in creating new initiatives and activities designed to integrate transfer students into the UMass Lowell Community.
Research Coops & Service Learning Internships
Bridge programs have been created for academic programs across the University to offer research workshops and community coops and internships to community college students on the UMass Lowell campus, thus introducing prospective students to campus resources and faculty to ease their transition to a research University. Once accepted, students are eligible for a wide variety of research co-ops, service-learning internships, and other opportunities for community engagement. These opportunities may include paid scholarships or provide academic credit.
In addition to the 100 percent tuition coverage offered in the new Advantage Plus program, UMass Lowell offers a series of scholarships specifically for transfer students.
- The UMass Lowell Community College Transfer Scholarship was created to reward the outstanding scholarship of graduates of Massachusetts community colleges. Students holding an Associates' degree completed at one of those institutions, who have a minimum GPA of 3.70, are eligible for one of 30 annual awards of $2,500. The award is renewable for a maximum of three years for students maintaining a 3.25 GPA. In state, out of state, New England regional and Proximity program participants are all eligible. The scholarship is pro-rated for part-time students.
- The UMass Lowell Transfer Scholarship provides 30 annual awards of $2,500 to incoming students who have earned 15 transfer credits with a minimum GPA of 3.5. Students may have attended a community or four-year college. The award is renewable for up to four years for students who maintain a GPA of 3.0. In state, out of state, New England regional and Proximity program participants are eligible. The scholarship is pro-rated for part-time students.
- Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships may be awarded annually to as many as 20 students who are active in this transfer honorary. Eligible candidates will have completed an associate's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5.
UMass Lowell offers a number of other scholarships for out of state, international and regional program participants. The campus also participates in the NECCUM Scholarship program, which provides assistance to transfer students from the sending institution.
Transfer Coordinators and Prioritized Advising
The first challenge for transfer students is to integrate prior coursework into their newly chosen degree programs. To help with this process, each academic department has identified a transfer advisor whose role is to work with prospective students to develop an academic plan that makes the best use of transfer credits, and provides the most direct path to the completion of the Baccalaureate degree. MAP students will be given prioritized advising and registration.
UMass Lowell provides an interactive online transfer-equivalence dictionary that allows students to easily evaluate their own coursework directly from the UMass Lowell website. After the initial plan is done the transfer coordinator is available to provide guidance and advising to students throughout their academic careers.
To further facilitate the smooth transition from an Associate's Degree program to a Baccalaureate program, UMass Lowell has developed articulation agreements with 11 of the 15 public community colleges in Massachusetts. Articulation Agreements guarantee that participating students have met all pre-requisites for UMass Lowell degree programs, including highly competitive programs such as Engineering, Criminal Justice and Nursing.
Mass Transfer Program
UMass Lowell is a leader in moving ahead with the Mass Transfer program. Currently, state community college students who graduate with a 2.5 GPA in designated programs are guaranteed admission. When fully implemented in Fall 2013, the Mass Transfer Program will insure that students receive maximum credit for courses taken.
Once a student has been accepted to the University, UMass Lowell offers a number of programs designed to quickly bring students into the community. Day-long orientation programs for incoming transfer students, held during the summer, provide the important opportunity for students to meet with their transfer coordinator and academic advisor and to register for classes. In addition to these meetings, there are several orientation meetings set up during the first two weeks of classes especially for transfer students. Each transfer student is contacted by a student-ambassador to address any questions that may have arisen during the first month of classes.
Finally, UMass Lowell works with community colleges to provide the best guidance for prospective UMass Lowell students before they are admitted. The Connections Program, intended for Middlesex Community College students who plan to attend UMass Lowell, offers customized advising and guidance, visits from UMass Lowell advisors, and access to University recreational and residential facilities.
Incoming transfer students are guaranteed University housing if they complete and return their housing contract by the priority deadline of May 1.