Exploring Transfer

The Vassar College Exploring Transfer Program

For thirty-three years, the Exploring Transfer (ET) program at Vassar College has successfully introduced community college students to the possibilities of transfer to a wide range of four-year colleges and universities. ET students, all of whom are drawn from populations underrepresented in higher education and all of whom are first generation to college, have gone on to complete bachelor's degrees at most of the units of the State University of New York and the City University of New York; ET students have also transferred and flourished at private, selective universities such as Yale and Columbia and colleges such as Smith, Middlebury and, of course, Vassar.

Exploring Transfer is designed to provide an introduction to the intensive study of the liberal arts to community college students who are pursuing associate degrees or certificates in vocational, liberal arts and science programs.

The program is intended to facilitate a partnership, which allows access to each other’s classes on a reciprocal basis, between Dutchess Community College (DCC) and Vassar College (VC). VC caps the number of students from DCC at 5 per semester. 


1. To provide qualified DCC students with an opportunity to enroll in a course at VC.

2. To facilitate upward educational and career mobility for DCC students by increasing access to baccalaureate education for qualified individuals.

Eligible students will: 

  • Be nominated by a faculty member or an academic coach by November 12 to allow time for review, selection, advisement, and cross-registration. Student application and essay are also due on November 12.

  • Have successfully completed at least one full-time semester at DCC. Be in good academic standing and have no conduct issues.

  • Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and no coursework with grades below C.

  • Write a personal statement expressing interest in the program and how it will benefit them.

  • Be registered as a full-time student with at least 12 credits. Enroll in no more than 1 class at VC.

  • Be able to enroll in an introductory (100- or 200-level) course by advisement by the VC Advisor for Special Students.

  • Not have to pay additional tuition cost or fees. Full-time tuition cost at DCC will include VC coursework.

  • Need to have a physical exam and PPD done within the past year (COVID 19 Vaccination is required on Vassar Campus).

Additional notes: Students who express interest and are nominated to participate in the program will be screened by a committee, and successful candidates will be recommended to Vassar College. The student will then fill out required forms and meet with the Advisor for Special Students at VC to discuss the appropriate coursework. It is expected that DCC students will take spring 2022 Vassar class in-person and must be fully vaccinated to participate in this program. Faculty/staff letters of recommendation should be given to students or sent to angela.rios@sunydutchess.edu.


For more information

Dr. Angela Rios
Office: Bowne 210
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 431-8953