Improving Two-Year to Four-Year Transfer

For students just out of high school or enrolling from the workforce, transferring from a two-year to a four-year institution is a far more affordable approach to earning a baccalaureate degree than completing all four (or more) years at a four-year institution. Starting at a community college and transferring to a two-year or four-year institution helps ease into the higher education atmosphere and with that, a better prepared student and a better chance at completing their degree. Our Feature discusses the impact of the economy on two-year and four year institutions and their transfer programs.

Of course, while the idea of transfer is a fantastic one, the process is rarely as simple as it seems. Students often earn credits at the two-year level, but then find when they arrive at the university that those credits aren’t accepted, meaning they have to re-take courses. Additionally, with the change in environment from the two-year to the four-year institution, many transfer students feel out of their element. These factors have a significantly negative effect on their persistence.

Administrators both at the two-year and four-year level have a crucial role to play in overcoming the obstacles transfer students face. Over the course of this Mini Feature, we dive into how administrators and students alike can work to improve the transfer process and, by extension, the attainment rate.

Day1

Implementing a Successful Transfer Program

Making Transfer a Reality: Responsibilities at the Two-Year and Four-Year Level

Through unique partnerships, two-year and four-year institutions can collaborate to go beyond simply facilitating transfer—they can create transformative degree programs that span institutions and create access opportunities for traditionally underserved demographics.

Community Colleges as Pathways to Baccalaureate Attainment: Benefits, Obstacles, and Policy Implications

Improved and increased numbers of transfer agreements between two-year and four-year institutions, combined with better advising and support mechanisms on both sides of the transfer pathway, would improve baccalaureate completion rates for students who use community colleges as a pathway to four-year degrees.

Day2

Transforming the Transfer Experience

Overcoming Common Barriers to Transfer for Community College Students

By improving the transferability of community college credits and focusing on improving success rate for courses—especially in remedial math—two-year college leaders can take significant steps towards improving pathways to four-year institutions.

How Students and Administrators Can Transform the Transfer Experience

While higher education leaders have a significant responsibility to improve the transfer process for two-year students, the students themselves can take specific steps to create a successful transfer process for themselves.

Day3

Improving College Transfer and Student Success

Holding the Fort While Forging Ahead: Improving Degree Completion and Transfer at Two-Year Colleges

Uniform course numbering and policies to incentivize both transfer and associate’s degree completion are valuable, but two-year colleges must be permitted to offer more high-demand baccalaureate degrees while remaining at the forefront of innovative credential development.

Improved Seamlessness and Wider Definition of Success Critical in the Transfer Conversation

Creating a more seamless transfer experience, both for traditional and reverse transfer, would make a big difference to the student experience and support greater levels of persistence and attainment.

Day4

How Leaders Can Drive Change in College

University Leaders and Their Role in Supporting Community College Transfer Students

University leaders need to be aggressive and unequivocal in their support of community college transfer students in order to create more regular and supportive pathways from two-year to four-year institutions.

Leading Transfer Efforts: Two-Year and Four-Year Leaders Need to Collaborate to Succeed

As more and more students enroll in local community colleges as the first step on a multi-institutional education journey, community college and university leaders need to collaborate to ensure more pathways are forged and protected for these learners.

Putting Technology to Work for Transfer Students

Eliminating redundancy and promoting accountability lie at the base of any major movement to improve two-year to four-year transfer in the United States.

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