Transfer/Tech Spotlight: Facilitating community college transfer; A forum for experienced registrars

August 24, 2013
  • AACRAO Connect
  • Transfer and Articulation

In the interest of maximizing our attendees' time and resources, we have co-located the AACRAO Transfer Conference with the AACRAO Technology Conference. Attendees must register for one meeting, but will have the option of attending sessions of interest at either meeting. The meetings will also share the exhibit hall and some plenary presentations.

The following two interviews highlight just two examples”a transfer session and a preconference workshop”of the excellent content you can expect at the conference.

Transfer: Reaching out to community college transfers

Bart Grachan, EdD, is the director of the Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP) at NYU Steinhardt. CCTOP is an innovative outreach and scholarship program that targets local community college students for transfer to NYU. It has helped over 1,700 transfer students find surprising success.

Grachan will talk about his research and the results of the implementation of the CCTOP program in his presentation “Filters in the Transfer Pipeline: Access, Achievement and the Receiving Institution.”

AACRAO: Why is it important to look at these issues from the receiving institutions’ perspective?

Grachan: A lot of the conversation around this issue tends to focus on the student and the sending institution with little focus paid to the receiving institution

Particularly at more selective institutions, an intentional policy and program that encourages and allows for easy transfer to 4 year institutions can have a dramatic impact on enrollment success for these transfer students. The success of this program demonstrates what a huge influence the receiving school can have. 

AACRAO: What does the CCTOP program involve?

Grachan: A lot of the conversation around this issue tends to focus on the student and the sending institution with little focus paid to the receiving institution

Particularly at more selective institutions, an intentional policy and program that encourages and allows for easy transfer to 4 year institutions can have a dramatic impact on enrollment success for these transfer students. The success of this program demonstrates what a huge influence the receiving school can have.

AACRAO: What does the CCTOP program involve?

Grachan: With CCTOP, we partnered with 13 schools in the area and did a lot of outreach on those campuses. We helped students through the admissions process and then once they were at school helped them work with academic departments and so on to make sure the student didn’t trip over the academic bureaucracy.

AACRAO: How did CCTOP students perform?

Grachan: We compared three groups of transfer students—those coming from two-year institutions but not working in the CCTOP program, those coming from 4-year institutions, and then the CCTOP students.

Interestingly, the community college students that we admitted both in and out of the program, had a higher GPA than transfers from 4 year institutions had. But success rates were the same. And with CCTOP we were able to enroll a much higher percentage and number of underrepresented and minority and low income students than enroll organically—with stronger admissions criteria and comparable success rates.

And it’s interesting because none of the CCTOP students were considering NYU until they were met with this program in some way. They maybe thought it was too expensive, too hard to get into, and so on—versus non CCTOP transfers, all of whom chose to apply on their own with no real encouragement from NYU. Although the CCTOP students weren’t as comfortable with the decision to apply in the first place, they were more prepared for what came after than the other students who applied organically. Those students, in contrast, were comfortable with their decision to apply—they did it without encouragement from us—but they found a lot more surprises on the backside once they were enrolled.

AACRAO: What might session attendees learn from CCTOP?

Grachan: In admissions, we tend to look at transfer as a homogenous group. But four-year transfers have already have access to the baccalaureate and have a far better understanding of the process, having gone through it once before.

Hopefully, participants will come away with a better understanding of how to approach the community college transfer process differently than transfers from four-year institutions. How important it is to deal with it as its own issue rather than lumping these students in as general transfers or even as freshman.

Statistically, community colleges are vastly overenrolled with underrepresented minority students. On the other hand, 4-year schools are wildly underenrolled with those students. The more selective the four-year institution at the freshman level, the fewer the slots available for transfer students, particularly from community colleges, unless intentional efforts are made to enroll those students.

Community college students are often first generation college students and are going to school with the expectation of trying to transfer – but they often run into wall when they try to. It’s often not a smooth process. Having an intentional program can help smooth out those snags to help student through the transfer pipelines.

The Registrar Forum @ Tech: Technology, Disruptive Change and the Future of the Electronic Record

Mary Beth Myers, Registrar, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is one of the faculty members leading the conversation at this year’s Registrar Forum at Tech, a preconference workshop that provides senior registrar professionals with a forum for discussing common principles, trends, goals and challenges. The session content will be sequential and continuous and will build upon previous sessions; however, each session will have a separate topic and theme. Attendance and participation in the Registrar Forum @ Tech will be limited to those who register specifically for it.

AACRAO: What is the Registrar Forum at Tech?

Myers: This forum gives Registrar Professionals a smaller professional setting to freely and openly discuss and strategize about the emerging issues we face with a focus on how technology enables (or restricts) us. The faculty who coordinate the forum set the stage with some context and content around the most recent challenges and opportunities in the field. They identify a few provocative topics that are newly emerging and outline how they are beginning to grapple with each one. The ultimate intent from there is one of engaged discussion among all of the Forum participants about the principles, trends and future directions of the environment in which we operate set to a backdrop of technology.
The fact is, we all œlearn from each other┬" and the format of the Registrar Forum is designed to promote that learning in a casual setting.

AACRAO: What kinds of topics will be addressed this year?


Some general topics include:

-MOOCs. Technology (and some creative ingenuity) made MOOCS possible. How will our institutions react to this new and different method of learning? How will MOOCs factor into our work and the work of our faculty? How might our institutions approach the assessment of learning from MOOCs? How will registrars transcript it?

-Program quality and assessment. After a history of comfort with credit hours and grades, institutions are now being asking to truly assess learning outcomes. How do we assess what a student who earned a B in a Philosophy class truly learned? This is a whole new level of responsibility and accountability and brings into play, on the technology side, things like ePortfolios. Then, how will the ePortfolios be analyzed and assessed and coordinated into a picture of learning outcomes and, ultimately, program quality?

-Retention, graduation rates and associated funding. While prestigious institutions may not have to worry about graduation rates, many other institutions are finding that funding is increasingly tied to graduation rates. How do we shorten our time to graduation, save students money and increase institutional funding? Enter in the technology of degree progress reports and enhanced advising systems, early warning systems, and clear and present “academic roadmaps” to success. Have we clearly thought about and articulated what role a Registrar Professional now plays in retention and graduation?

-Academic record. With the endless possibilities available with an electronic academic record, how many of us have truly engaged in revamping and improving our academic record? As Tom Black, Stanford Registrar, mentioned in a recent AACRAO Spotlight “electronic academic records aren’t the future – they’re the now.” As seasoned Registrars, how well have we kept up with the technology available to us in doing anything to “update” our record of the faculty? Do we provide links to class syllabi from our transcript? Are we ready to provide links to those ePortfolios mentioned earlier?

Registrars have always been agents of change -- but how well are we harnessing the voluminous and exciting options technology is presenting. And as aggressive as we might intend to be in capturing all that exciting technology—how do we reconcile the speed of technology with the (sometimes) snail’s pace of academia?

And, given the increasing impact of technology, how do we continue to assure our integral role in academic administration? Put another way, as the CIO and his or her team becomes even more critical to institutional success, what does that mean to Registrars? How might the role be “re-defined” in this new world --- and what can/should Registrars do to help shape it?
In addition to targeted topics of the forum, there’s really no topic of interest that’s off the table when it comes to principles, mission, trends, direction, challenges and opportunities. This Forum setting encourages all participants to bring up anything that comes to mind as a result of seeds planted by the faculty content.

AACRAO: Would you attend the forum, if you were not a faculty member?

Myers: Absolutely! – the forum is both professionally and personally rewarding. One of the best features of the forum is the ability to truly network with faculty and attendees. With this size group, you get to know colleagues face to face and by name and get a picture of what challenges they’re facing. In some cases, you’ll have good suggestions to offer; in some cases, you can empathize with no good answer – but a solution germinates. In a few cases you may have less in common with some colleagues, but you learn more about the breadth and scope of this profession that brings us such pride.


By: AACRAO Connect



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