​​​​​​​​​​​​ACE launches national task force to improve transfer credit practices

February 10, 2020
  • AACRAO News
  • Transfer and Articulation
  • partners
young student smiling out the window, seated at a table with books and laptop

A 2018 snapshot from National Student Clearinghouse data found that more than a million students, 38 percent of the 2.8 million entering college for the first time in fall 2011, transferred to a different institution at least once within six years. Unfortunately, as these students transfer, many of them lose academic credit. 

To address this problem, ACE created the National Task Force on Transfer of Credit, bringing together presidents and chancellors of two- and four-year, public and private nonprofit colleges and universities from across the country.  AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly is serving as an ex-officio member. 

"It is an honor to be invited to participate on the National Task Force on the Transfer of Credit," Reilly said. "AACRAO has a long history of providing institutions with resources and best practices on serving transfer students.  I think we can be a valuable contributor to the work of the Task Force."

The Task Force will produce a report containing best practices and emerging strategies for improving the transfer and award of credit, with the goal of advancing student success, promoting equity, and making college more affordable. The report's recommendations will also reflect the diverse missions of U.S. colleges and universities. 

The Task Force is supported by a grant from Strada Education Network. Additional support from the Charles Koch Foundation is funding a series of white papers to inform the Task Force's work on topics such as student support services and pathways, credit transfer technology, and credit for prior learning. AACRAO's Director of Research and Managing Consultant, Dr. Wendy Kilgore, authored one of those white papers: "Technology as an Enabler of Transfer Credit."

“As more learners of all ages transfer between institutions and gain relevant work experience that can be evaluated for academic credit, we believe the time is ripe to redesign the transfer credit process to make it easier for students to chart a meaningful education-to-career path," said Strada Education Network President and CEO William D. Hansen. "We are excited to partner with ACE and learn from the important work of this task force."

“It's encouraging to see ACE taking the lead to convene leaders, identify best practices, and offer solutions toward diverse educational pathways," said Ryan Stowers, executive director at the Charles Koch Foundation. “This will require re-thinking how credit transfer works, and we suspect the research produced by this Task Force will illustrate how to accelerate change in the ways colleges and universities effectively support students."

The Task Force will meet several times throughout 2020 to engage with leading experts in the field, identify challenges and craft solutions to better serve students. A final report will be released in early 2021.

“While there has been much discussion and work on the topic of transfer of credit in recent years, there is more to do," said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “We want colleges and universities to evaluate previous academic work and nonacademic experiences more effectively to facilitate transfer of credit and completion. Given the increasing mobility of students between institutions and other learning opportunities, we know that improving transfer of credit practices is critical to our efforts to better support students and increase their success. I would like to thank all of the members of the Task Force for committing their time and expertise to this important initiative."



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