The ability of students to move through the post-secondary system efficiently and to obtain a credential or degree has changed significantly as the pathways towards a college degree have become less linear. President Obama’s College Completion Agenda, along with lessons learned from the recent recession, have combined to create a “transfer student moment” for higher education. The president’s desire to improve graduation rates and place college degrees into the hands of more Americans will require the creation of a completion-focused culture on college campuses.
A letter drafted by the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment laments that not enough Americans graduate from college: “This is an unacceptable loss of human potential – a waste of time, resources, and opportunity, and left unaddressed, will hinder social mobility and impede the nation’s economic progress.” The report also argued that transferring credit could be more straight-forward. The transfer process is a critical access point for many students. Ideally, transferring would be a seamless process, but in reality, transfer is often complicated and unwieldy. Too often, the burden of navigating the process is on the student rather than the institutions; the process deters rather than encourages many students from continuing.
Bart Grachan, Director of the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP), NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, has been the director of the program for over five years and has dramatically improved the transfer process at NYU. CCTOP partners with 13 local community colleges to help students understand the transfer progression, award scholarships, and provide support to enrolled students after they transfer to help ensure both access and successful completion.
AACRAO will provide Dr. Grachan’s live presentation June 13th at 2 p.m. ET via webinar. He will share some of the more common problems in transfer from data reporting and institutional priorities and policies, to the language we use in working with students of limited social and cultural capital. For anyone who works with transfer students, it is critical to review how that can impact not just transfer student enrollment and success, but social mobility and access.
If you want to learn more about solutions to the evolving challenges of transfer, please also consider making plans to attend AACRAO Transfer in July.
By: AACRAO Connect