Our July 27 book club discussion on the Transfer Experiences opened up topics of change, systems, and improvements. One of the hosts reflects on her experiences in leading the discussion.
The book, Transfer experience, remains an exemplar dictionary every person working with and for transfer should have. It offers us rich morsels of ideas and knowledge. What it does so poignantly well is spotlight aspects consistently left out of discussions on transfer beyond systems and cost. These are the framing of transfer experience and responding to transfer experience in our systems.
Most notable in the framing is the inefficiencies from biases and inequities. In the response to transfer experiences, the attention to the learning, teaching, and leadership was new and refreshing. Often this latter factor is glazed over blaming faculty for the bottleneck. Yet what resonated from the book club conversation in reflection were the experiences of burn-out and frustration from an inadequate pipeline of activities that stifle dreams of a higher ed. degree.
It was clear that leaders’ limited understanding or wish to care about the full journey of the transfer student-lead consistently to ineffective use of workers, burdens saddled on staff, bottlenecks in change, a slowing down in innovation. All done without regard for students, their lives, and the investments they make in their education. For many in the book club, this hit home so directly that you could feel the passion of the conversation leap out onto the virtual screens. There is a lot to be done for transfer and I think we just exposed the pus-filled sore thus the group called for more conversations of the same with and through AACARO but also in our own institutions. It is heartbreaking to know we have a problem with solutions and are simply not listening to the people who can fix it.