November - A peek behind transfer credit evaluation, psychological intervention in STEM, and international student enrollment

Dr. Wendy Kilgore |
November 24, 2020
  • Career Profiles
  • Community Colleges
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
  • International Education
  • Transfer Credit Practices
  • Community Colleges
  • Degree Completion
  • Enrollment Management
  • International Admissions
  • STEM
  • Transfer Credit
  • Transfer Credit Evaluation

I realize this blog will be released the day after Thanksgiving, so I am writing in the past tense. I hope you have had a peaceful Thanksgiving break and were able to spend quality time with family and friends either in person or virtually.    

AACRAO Research Update

Chief Enrollment Management Career Profile

The CEMO profile report will be released December 9. I have included a couple of the figures from the report here. We had 299 U.S. respondents.


A Peek Behind the Curtain: An examination of credit evaluation and academic advising for transfer students at U.S. undergraduate serving institutions

The comprehensive report on transfer student academic advising and transfer credit evaluation has been posted to the AACRAO website. Over 200 U.S. institutions responded to this survey. These data highlight a complex and heterogeneous set of policies and practices for transfer students. Differences in practice and policy exist both among institutions and for many, within an institution. Key findings include:

  • Most (79%) have transfer articulation agreements with one or more institutions

  • Just 8% limit transfer to direct course equivalencies only  

  • More than half place a limit on the number of transfer credits that will be awarded in transfer

  • Slightly more than half use automated articulation rules to assist with transfer credit evaluation

  • 17% require that a student request a transfer credit evaluation

  • 63% share a detailed report with transfer students about how their credits apply to their selected program of study; 37% do not

  • 51% tell students why credits were not awarded in transfer; 49% do not

  • 23% only award credit that applies to the major at the time of admission regardless of other equivalencies on the incoming transcript

In addition to the research above, the digital credentials survey closed on November 20 and a report is forthcoming.  There will be a January 2021 60-Second survey on a topic to be determined. If you have an idea for the January survey, please let me know. 

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

There has been quite of a bit of new research released this month.  

A psychological intervention strengthens students’ peer social networks and promotes persistence in STEM

A study was published in Science Advances presenting the results of an experiment aimed at helping students in STEM persevere by strengthening their peer social networks. Students who received the experimental treatment were 11.7% more likely to enroll in the next course in the sequence. 

ACE Supplement to Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Report

The American Council on Education produced a supplement that further examines “pre-college experiences, graduate and professional education, student load debt and postsecondary faculty and staff.” 

Fall 2020 Enrollment as of Oct 22 

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released an updated fall 2020 enrollment report. Among other data points, they report that enrollment is 4.4% lower than last year at the same time overall and freshman are down 16.1%

Positive Impacts of Payment Plans

Nelnet Campus Commerce completed an analysis of over 500,000 students on the impact of participating in a payment plan on retention and academic progression. They found that students who participated in a payment plan were 8% more likely to retain semester-to-semester and completed more credit hours.

Comprehensive Approaches to Increasing Student Completion in Higher Education: A Survey of the Landscape 

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research which describes the high rate of college non-completion in the U.S. and categorizes explanations as to why that is. The four categories are academic under-preparation, tuition costs, institutional barriers, and personal non-academic barriers.

November 2020: Fall 2020 International Student Enrollment Snapshot

The Institute of International Education released its annual enrollment snapshot.  Among their conclusions, they report that U.S. higher education has found ways to engage international students in classes, enrollment decreased by 16% in Fall 2020, and nearly 40,000 students have deferred enrollment.

Two New Reports from the Community College Research Center 

Improving Developmental and College-Level Mathematics: Prominent Reforms and the Need to Address Equity

A Changing Paradigm in High School Mathematics

The Transfer Landscape: a Survey of College Officials

Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research completed of study on transfer student enrollment and perceptions of the effectiveness of internal transfer practices. 



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