A transfer umbrella

May 3, 2016
  • Transfer and Articulation
Male holding a red umbrella to protect himself from a tornado of papers.

2+2. 3+1. Transfer agreement. Admissions agreement. Articulation agreement.  There are almost as many names for them as there are ways to manage them.

Institutions have come up with a wide variety of ways to structure and encapsulate these agreements, which can crisscross a campus and reach far beyond it. But dozens or hundreds of specific agreements, once documented, often end up filed away and forgotten, inaccessible to many parties who might need to reference them.

People from both two- and four-year institutions can benefit from having a conversation about best practices for managing and organizing so many disparate agreements, said David Villarroel, Assistant Director, Community College Partnerships at DePaul University.

For example, DePaul has sufficient resources to have developed the DePaul Admissions Partnership Program (DAPP) —which is an overarching pre-transfer preparation program. Their unique program includes using one standard agreement that is broad and can encompass most situations. DAPP is managed by the Community College Partnership office, which ensures that the agreements are in place and annually renewed.  

“We have live transfer guides on our website that are automatically updated when catalogues and course numbers change,” said Rebecca Popelka, Associate Director for Undergraduate Admissions, Transfer and Adult Recruitment at DePaul. The Transfer Admissions and Adult Enrollment Center, a centralized local for transfer questions, utlizes the DAPP and other tools to improve transfer efficiency, so that students get consistent and accurate answers to their transfer questions.

 “We encourage students to reference that instead of printing a static document, so they always have the most current information,” Polpelka said. They also lock-in degree requirements when a student indicates their intention to transfer, so they are ensured the courses they take will count when they arrive at DePaul.

“But institutions don’t want a carbon copy of what works at other schools,” said Villarroel. “They want to find what works at their campus with their resources and their culture.”

No matter the institution, transfer experts often need to consider issues such as how to:

  • Keep track of transfer agreements.
  • Continuously cull the list to purge anything out of date.
  • Communicate transfer information to students.
  • Coordinate advising with institutional partners.
  • Say ‘no’ to partnerships that don’t work for your institution.

Popelka and Villarroel will offer colleagues an opportunity to discuss best practices around these issues in their session “Don't file me away: How to keep Transfer Agreements up-to-date and useful for current and future students” at the 2016 AACRAO Technology and Transfer Conference.

“We want to have a back-and-forth so people can share the good things they do,” Popelka said. “We want attendees to walk out with ideas about what they can implement at their school.”

“We know as far as enrollment management transfer institutions, DePaul has exceptional resources,” Villarroel said. “This session will be applicable to other schools that don’t necessarily look like DePaul, and give people an opportunity to share information on this topic with each other.”

For a more in-depth exploration of transfer and related issues, join AACRAO’s Technology and Transfer Conference, held this July in Anaheim, California


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