How 6 colleges collaborate to improve transfer student retention

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How 6 colleges collaborate to improve transfer student retention

Just 14% of community college students who transfer to a four-year institution earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. And while 80% of students attend community college with the intention of transferring to a four-year university, only a third transfer within six years.

In an effort to better support transfer students, Tulsa Community College (TCC) and five surrounding northeast Oklahoma universities—Langston University, Northeastern State University (NSU), Oklahoma State University, Rogers State University, and the University of Tulsa—are partnering to help transfer students succeed.

The Tulsa Transfer Project, designed to take two years, is intended to improve the overall transfer experience for students. During the 2017-2018 academic year, more than half of the 3,419 students who transferred from TCC to a bachelor’s degree program transferred to one of the universities involved in the partnership.

 “TCC is the state’s largest provider of transfer students. We believe this is a critical piece of the conversation to not only help our students succeed but also help increase the number of bachelor’s degrees in our community,” says TCC President and chief executive officer Leigh Goodson.

TCC is the state’s largest provider of transfer students. We believe this is a critical piece of the conversation to not only help our students succeed but also help increase the number of bachelor’s degrees in our community.

Leigh Goodson, president of Tulsa Community College

“This initiative aligns with our multi-year efforts to increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates at NSU,” explains NSU President Steve Turner. “We are encouraged by the fact that our transfers from community colleges increased this year and we are hopeful this trend will continue,” he adds.

A similar partnership between East Carolina University (ECU) and 14 surrounding community colleges launched in 2018. Through ECU’s partnership, students who commit to at least 12 semester hours at community college gain automatic admission to ECU after two years. George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College are also implementing a similar transfer partnership.

“Concurrent admission programs are popping up across the sector,” explains EAB director Christina Hubbard. “Though details vary, students are generally admitted to their community college and university at the same time. You can look at it as ‘conditional acceptance’: as soon as they complete the requirements, they make the transition to their four-year without having to re-apply. My hunch is that these programs will continue to expand” (Tahlequah Daily Press, 9/25/18).

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Learn more about transfer student success

As colleges and universities struggle with declining enrollment, many institutions are turning towards transfer students. But colleges need to do a better job at supporting transfer students. Only 14% of community college students who transfer to a four-year institution earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to research from Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC).…

Transfer students lose nearly half of the credits they attempt to bring to their new institution—and that’s just one of the many barriers they face. Only 23% of community college students who intend to attain a bachelor’s degree successfully earn a one within eight years, and many students accumulate unnecessary debt in the process. In…

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