The Transfer Process Desperately Needs Innovation
Inside Higher Ed
May 12, 2022
This post is the second in a series of blog posts on the articulation of credit transfer and digs deeper into the functionalities and applications of Transfer Explorer.
Nationwide, 80 percent of community college students express a desire to obtain a bachelor’s degree, but a mere 14 percent end up achieving that goal in six years. There are many factors that contribute to this leaky transfer pipeline and low transfer success rate. Among them are those that hinder the transfer process itself: administrative and bureaucratic hurdles, a lack of complete and correct information on college websites, and insufficient (or nonexistent) advising support. Even when credits do transfer, they are not always accepted toward a student’s program or degree requirements, threatening their chances of earning a degree and increasing the time to completion. Students are unable to accurately prepare for their transfer journey, often resulting in more time, money and effort spent trying to get credits accepted at a new institution. The Government Accountability Office reports that an estimated 43 percent of credits are wasted nationally during transfer, disproportionately hurting minority, lower-income and first-generation students.
There is an urgent need to invest in innovative practices and leverage AI-powered tools to address the many challenges transfer students face. The Articulation of Credit Transfer Project (ACT), a collaboration between Ithaka S+R and seven of the 20 community and baccalaureate colleges at the City University of New York, and funded by the Heckscher and Petrie Foundations, aims to improve the information, advising and administrative processes involved in the transfer process. (ACT is a member of the A2B—associate to bachelor’s—transfer projects.)