Sen. Murphy Wants Four-Year Colleges to Accept More Community College Credits

By:  David Desroches

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy unveiled federal legislation on Friday that would help streamline the college credit transfer process.

College students across the country are spending millions of tuition dollars to take classes they already took at community college. Part of the reason, is that the four-year schools don’t think some community college classes are as rigorous.

Speaking with WNPR, Senator Murphy said that if that’s the case, then something’s got to change.

“I don’t think there’s really much excuse for a state college system not to accept credits from within its own system,” Murphy said.

If state colleges and universities, such as UConn, think that community college classes aren't as strong as their classes, Murphy said that the state should improve offerings at the community colleges.

“There is really a tremendous waste of money, of taxpayer money, at the state level and at the federal level, if these credits aren’t transferred,” he said.

Murphy is trying to tackle this issue with federal legislation that would incentivize colleges to accept more transfer credits from community colleges, and decrease federal aide to schools that accept low rates of transfer credits.

The proposed legislation would also offer incentives to colleges that create programs to help students graduate in two or three years. A father of two, Murphy said he's still paying back his own college loans.

Community college officials are currently working with four-year schools to develop transfer credit agreements. UConn has not been part of these discussions, but a spokesman said they would be happy to discuss possible collaboration.

State Rep. Roberta Willis and State Sen. Danté Bartolomeo joined Murphy in Hartford to unveil the legislation. Bartolomeo and State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, chairman of the Education Committee, could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.