Improving Two-Year to Four-Year Transfer
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.
Implementing a Successful Transfer Program
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.
Transforming the Transfer Experience
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.
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.
Improving College Transfer and Student Success
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.
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.
How Leaders Can Drive Change in College
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.
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.
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.