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ERIC Number: ED541969
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The Promise of the Transfer Pathway: Opportunity and Challenge for Community College Students Seeking the Baccalaureate Degree. Summary of Empirical Analyses, Policy Reflections and Recommendations
Handel, Stephen J.; Williams, Ronald A.
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
In 2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the College Board initiated a project to identify ways of improving the efficiency of the transfer pathway, a century-old mechanism that provides community college students with an opportunity to earn the baccalaureate degree at four-year institutions. Both organizations understand that the national focus on increasing the number of individuals with credentials and degrees will require that transfer play a significant role, especially given the fact that 47 percent of all undergraduates attend community colleges. Now and into the future, the way in which two- and four-year institutions embrace transfer--or not--will influence the educational fate of thousands of students in the United States. The project's initial efforts focused primarily on collection and review of the extant research pertaining to transfer, including information on the demographic characteristics of community college transfer students and their academic success in two- and four-year institutions, enrollment trends among two- and four-year colleges and universities, and predicted variations in high school graduating classes (nationally and regionally). The College Board then convened the Commission on Transfer Policy and Practice, a committee composed of education leaders having special expertise in serving community college transfer students. The Commission's charge was to identify significant and emerging trends that influence transfer, highlight especially promising transfer practices and policies, and delineate a research agenda that would address pivotal empirical questions around transfer. The College Board also engaged the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) to tackle the transfer and degree completion research issues identified by the Commission and to supplement these analyses with site visits to two- and four-year institutions. This summary, along with the full report and several supplemental reports, describes the transfer process as it is currently applied, identifies major challenges facing policymakers wishing to expand this pipeline, and provides a set of recommendations for states, two- and four-year institutions, and other entities, including the philanthropic and research communities, that are designed to advance transfer as a more effective pathway to the baccalaureate degree. The authors hope that this effort will highlight the importance of the transfer pathway in U.S. higher education and identify ways in which this avenue to the baccalaureate degree can be improved. (Contains 2 tables, 1 figure and 2 footnotes.) [For the full report, "The Promise of the Transfer Pathway: Opportunity and Challenge for Community College Students Seeking the Baccalaureate Degree," see ED541978.]
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Tel: 212-713-8165; Fax: 212-713-8143; e-mail:; email:; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center