When George Mason University launched a bachelor’s program in mechanical engineering two years ago, administrators wanted to try something different. They had seen too many students in the past frustrated by failed attempts to transfer community college credits that did not meet the rigorous standards of the Volgenau School of Engineering.
The solution? GMU and Northern Virginia Community College forged a “compact” that offered aspiring mechanical engineers dual enrollment at both schools. Engineering faculty at the university began developing curriculums with their counterparts at NOVA, while academic advisers at the schools teamed up to guide students.