Oct. 2021 - Credit Mobility, Institutional Practices, and Virtual Education

Dr. Wendy Kilgore |
October 29, 2021
  • Research
  • AACRAO Research Insights
  • AACRAO Research Resources
  • Access and Equity
  • Data
  • Debt & Equity
  • Degree Completion
  • Financial Aid
  • Lumina Foundation
  • Tech Transfer
  • Transcripts

Can you believe that it is the end of October 2021? I cannot. As we transition into fall, I want to share my wishes for a quiet and peaceful holiday season. AACRAO Research remains busy and continues to be invited to partner with others on the research of importance and interest to our members. Much of the work we are part of right now focus in one way or another on credit mobility. Credit mobility in this context refers to all learner-acquired knowledge for which credit for an educational credential may award; this includes prior learning assessment (PLA), college credit earned in high school, reverse transfer, traditional postsecondary credit, and other sources. Please keep an eye out for the release of a couple of reports in early November related to credit mobility, the 60-Second Survey invitation in the first week of November on registrar office size, and a call to participate in a comprehensive survey about recruitment and admission of transfer students in early December. Thank you.

Once again, Confessions of a Community College Dean blogger, Matt Reed, posted on a topic related to an area of mutual interest and inquiry. In the October 11, 2021 post, he ponders why some postsecondary institutions treat dual enrollment differently in how it may or may not transfer from Advanced Placement credit and PLA; this is an inequity we continue to try and address and research here at AACRAO. You, too, might find his blog post interesting to read.

AACRAO Research Update

Stop! Do Not Pass Go! Institutional Practices that Impede Undergraduate Student Advancement

There will be two reports released about a week apart, starting with the first on November 10. The first report concludes our Lumina Foundation exploratory study of registration and transcript hold information from 14 institutions. We completed a virtual convening on October 19 to engage institutional participants and external guests about the study results and collect their input on practice recommendations. The second companion report covers the use of registration and transcript holds in U.S. undergraduate higher education. Some of the key findings in the national sample of more than 300 institutions are:

  • Most agree holds are to motivate a student to take action;
  • 49% will withhold access to a transcript for any debt greater than zero;
  • About a third are confident in their ability to calculate the percentage of students impacted by registration and transcript holds at this time; and
  • 67% used HEERF funds to forgive student debt associated with registration and/or transcript holds

November 60-Second Survey

November’s 60-Second Survey will virtually repeat one from 2019 and one from 2015 on the staffing size and functions for offices of the registrar. We added a question about the level of difficulty in filling vacancies and about the opportunity to continue to work remotely. The Survey will be deployed on November 1 and remain open through November 5. 


Re-envisioning Transfer Student Recruitment and Admissions

A comprehensive, modestly-incentivized survey will be deployed for this project in early December to AACRAO primary contacts. The project will focus on recruitment and admissions policy, practice, and staffing for transfer students.

Current Higher Education Research and Related Topics

Federal Data on the Percentage of College Students Taking Online Courses

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, more than half of all college students took at least one fully online course in 2019-2020. These data exclude courses that converted to online in response to the pandemic.

Report Highlights the Growth in Exclusively Distance Education Enrollment in 2020

In a report related to the national data and summarized by Higher Ed Dive, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) authors report that not wholly unexpectedly, the pandemic “fueled growth in the number of students enrolled in exclusively distance education, or EDE.” They hypothesize that some of the increases recognized as part of a response to the pandemic may persist.

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