Marymount University President Matthew Shank, left, and Northern Virginia Community College President Scott Ralls signed a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement on March 8 that will ensure the seamless transfer of NOVA graduates to Marymount. (Courtesy Photo)

Marymount University President Matthew Shank and Northern Virginia Community College President Scott Ralls signed a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement on March 8 that will ensure the seamless transfer of NOVA graduates to Marymount.
“I want all students at NOVA to think of Marymount as an option,” Dr. Shank said. “This partnership will not only help to streamline a more efficient transition, but it will also help to promote our university as a great alternative for students.”
The signing ceremony, held in the Choral Room at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus Center for Design, Media and the Arts, was attended by officials and interested parties from both institutions.
“We’ve always had a good partnership with NOVA, and with this agreement, it’s going to expand,” said Dr. William J. Ehmann, Marymount’s provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management.
Ehmann said Marymount is the first private school to partner with NOVA. He noted that work study and a variety of scholarships make a Marymount education affordable, including particular scholarships for people from Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria.  Under the new agreement, graduates from programs whose curricular pathways form part of this agreement can complete all Marymount lower-division Liberal Arts Core requirements while at NOVA, with the exception of one class, Theological Inquiry.
In addition:
• Marymount will wave its application fee for NOVA graduates.
• NOVA graduates with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 are guaranteed admission to MU.
• Marymount will award renewable merit scholarships ($2,000) to two NOVA graduates each fall.
•  Marymount will hold NOVA Night to help welcome and acclimate transfers.
• NOVA will sponsor a fall bus trip to MU for students interested in transferring.
• NOVA will provide space for a Marymount representative and invite MU to its transfer fairs.
Joanna Isabela Lovo, vice president of Marymount’s Latino Student Association, worked a full-time job while enrolled full-time at NOVA. She transferred to MU to pursue a degree in early childhood education. To honor her parents, she decided to pay her own college tuition with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher.
“I was beyond satisfied with my courses and the professors that I had. If it wasn’t for my experiences at NOVA, I really don’t know where I would be. It helped me to transition to Marymount, where I grew so much as a person and became very active in various campus organizations. I’m truly grateful and appreciate both NOVA and Marymount for helping me to achieve my dreams.”
“Education works best when education works together,” said Dr. Ralls, adding that the partnership will help students to save money and become successful in further pursing their education. Nationally, community college students lose an average of 13 credits when transferring to other institutions.
NOVA graduates transferring a minimum of  60 credit hours will be admitted as MU juniors, and those with fewer than 60 hours will be accepted as sophomores. Students who complete a NOVA associate degree while still in high school will be considered first-year students for scholarship purposes.
A minimum of 36 credits must be earned at MU to be eligible for graduation, and a list of programs with additional policies may be accessed through Marymount’s admissions webpage. Coursework that has earned a grade of ‘C’ or higher may be applied toward Marymount undergraduate credit. NOVA ( enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses and through its Extended Learning Institute, making it Virginia’s largest institution of higher education.