The ECMC Foundation in Los Angeles has announced the launch of a nearly $4.5 million initiative aimed at increasing the successful transfer of postsecondary credits and bachelor degree completion among students from marginalized racial/ethnic groups.
With the goal of supporting shared learning around the challenges community college students face in transferring their credits to a four-year program, the Catalyzing Transfer Initiative (CTI) awarded grants to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Education Commission of the States (ECS), Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
The five partner organizations will use the grants to advance reforms focused on expanding and/or establishing equity-based transfer pathways between pairs of two- and four-year institutions; develop a report on national transfer reform efforts and outcomes and creats a framework for launching a National Transfer Network; partner with three states to track outcomes; help four states develop and adopt state- and system-wide transfer standards; and enroll twenty new institutions in the Interstate Passport Network, a coalition of institutions and states that agree to accept block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on student-learning outcomes.
"It is a crucial time for states and postsecondary institutions to focus on streamlining transfer. In the next year and beyond, thousands of students will transfer or stop or drop out. They need our help now," said Anna Galas, director of Academic Leadership Initiatives at WICHE. "The ECMC-funded initiatives respond to this challenge. Reforming transfer is a social imperative for our nation and will increase student success and academic completion, particularly for historically underserved student populations."
"The broken transfer pipeline has many holes that can and must be addressed. It hinders students’ pathway to degree completion and greatly contributes to student debt and efficiencies in student aid," said Sarah Belnick, ECMC Foundation senior program director of college success. "These issues are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and are especially detrimental for marginalized, low-income, and first-generation students."
(Photo credit: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education)