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New Challenges for Student Success: The Transfer Adult Learner Landscape John N. Gardner University of Maine System Polycom November 17, 2010 Copyright,

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Presentation on theme: "New Challenges for Student Success: The Transfer Adult Learner Landscape John N. Gardner University of Maine System Polycom November 17, 2010 Copyright,"— Presentation transcript:

1 New Challenges for Student Success: The Transfer Adult Learner Landscape John N. Gardner University of Maine System Polycom November 17, 2010 Copyright, John N. Gardner 2010

2 The Nation’s Most Famous Transfer Student

3 Our Old Assumptions That all students would start and finish at a single four-year institution Historic notions of college do not include transfer.

4 Expanding our view of new students Who are they? Traditional 18 year olds Dual enrollment students Transfer students Today, over 60% of college students transfer at least once.  Transfer is normative, not the exception

5 Transfer is uniquely American!

6 Lessons Learned The role of “crisis” ◦Retention – the catalyst for attention to first-year students ◦State economic concerns – the catalyst for attention to transfers ◦Empty classroom seats – Why private institutions are courting transfers

7 Lessons Learned The importance of good data/information What do you know about your transfers? How do they compare to native students? Moving beyond myths and stereotypes

8 Lessons Learned The importance of interacting with students When is the last time you talked with a transfer student? How do you structure interaction With other students? With faculty/staff?

9 Lessons Learned The need for common experiences What do all transfers need, no matter what academic department they call home? Who advocates for all transfers?

10 Lessons Learned The importance of partnerships Between units on a single campus Between counterparts at sending and receiving institutions Between families and campuses

11 Lessons Learned Similar concerns First-year ◦SOCIAL ◦Academic ◦Financial

12 Lessons Learned Transfer Concerns ◦Primarily academic ◦(Also financial)

13 Lessons Learned The importance of advising While advising is important in the first year... There is special urgency for transfers

14 Lessons Learned Value of special programs and services Pre-term orientation First-year and transfer seminars (TRIGs) Peer leaders/mentors Academic support Career planning Residential living Targeted financial aid

15 Lessons Learned The desire for invisibility Why? ◦Fear of bias? ◦Not wanting to feel like a “second-class” student? Counter invisibility: Celebrate and honor transfer student accomplishments.

16 Lessons Learned The importance of rewards ◦Credit to institutions? ◦Rewards to faculty?

17 Lessons Learned Myths and half-truths ◦First-year  The first six weeks are the danger period.  Only the worst students drop out.  Work is bad for college students. ◦Transfer  Transfer students are not as “good” as native students.  Instruction in two-year colleges is inferior.  Transfers students don’t need support.

18 Lessons Learned Justice ◦For first-year students ◦For transfers

19 Concluding Thoughts While policy matters, faculty and staff on the front line have to take responsibility for transfer success. Demographic, economic, and public policy trends suggest we will have more, not fewer, transfer students. Maine should be a leading advocate for the successful integration of transfer students.

20 Final Recommendations Invite your campus CEO and CAO to drive the transfer issue. Embed your transfer student commitment into your institution’s strategic plan. Collaborate with institutions in your region to support student transfer. Organize your campus to support transfers (e.g., “transfer centers”). ◦Establish a standing committee to oversee the transfer experience. Make orientation a requirement for both first-year and transfer students. Examine campus financial aid policies to determine their fairness to transfers.

21 Final Recommendations Develop a transfer student “bill of rights and responsibilities.” Create regional, discipline-based faculty collaboratives to bring together two- and four-year faculty. Use reaffirmation of accreditation as an opportunity to focus on transfers. Participate in national professional organizations whose work relates to student transfer (NODA, NACADA, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition).

22 Final Recommendations Share and celebrate best practices in the State of Maine. Conduct an institutional self-study of the transfer experience (e.g., Foundations of Excellence ® ).

23 Contact Information John N. Gardner Betsy O. Barefoot Policy Center on the First Year of College


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