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Presentation on theme: "JOHN N. GARDNER CREDIT TRANSFER CONFERENCE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE ORONO April 19, 2013 COPYRIGHT, JOHN N. GARDNER 2013 The New Normal: Transfer Students in."— Presentation transcript:


2 I am “from away”. But at least from New England. Connecticut

3 And I have visited these Maine campuses College of the Atlantic Northern Maine Community College University of Maine at Augusta University of Maine at Farmington University of Maine at Fort Kent University of New England University of Southern Maine

4 And I have worked in my signature initiative known as Foundations of Excellence ® with Central Maine Community College (07/08) Kennebec Valley Community College (05/06) University of Maine at Fort Kent (11/12) University of Southern Maine (11/12 – present)

5 And my most sustained work for the citizens of Maine has been with my wife, Dr. Betsy O. Barefoot for your MELMAC Educational Foundation

6 Inviting you to imagine how you could increase the success of your transfer students. The New Normal

7 In 1987 The Chronicle described me as a “self- appointed spokesman” for the nation’s “freshman” students Now I would describe myself as being in that same role for the “other” new students: Transfers

8 What I know about transfer is based on lessons learned especially from: Serving as CAO for five two-year regional campuses of a public university system USC Lancaster USC Beaufort USC Sumter USC Salkehatchie USC Union

9 What I know about transfer is based on lessons learned especially from: Assisting 46 two- and four-year institutions in developing and implementing action plans to improve transfer sending rates through a process known as Foundations of Excellence ® (FoE) Transfer Focus

10 What is FoE Transfer Focus? An externally guided, comprehensive, institution- wide self study of the transfer experience… resulting in a strategic action plan to improve transfer student success

11 Foundations of Excellence ® Transfer Focus Schools American Public University System (2012) CUNY Brooklyn College (2009) CUNY Lehman College(2010) CUNY Queens College (2011) East Carolina University (2010) Georgia Gwinnett College (2009) Illinois State University (2012) Indiana University Kokomo (2009) Kean University (2009) Kennesaw State University (2010) Lourdes College (2010) Northwood University (2010) Shenandoah University (2010) State University of New York at Oswego (2009) State University of New York College at Brockport (2009) University of Northern Iowa (2009) University of Southern Maine (2011) University of Texas Brownsville (2009) FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONS

12 Foundations of Excellence ® Transfer Focus Schools Ashland Community and Technical College (2011) Big Sandy Community and Technical College (2011) Bluegrass Community and Technical College (2011) Bossier Parish Community College (2010) Bowling Green Technical College (2011) City Colleges of Chicago, Harry S. Truman College (2010) Columbus State Community College (2010) Elizabethtown Community College (2011) Gateway Community and Technical College (2011) Hazard Community and Technical College (2011) Henderson Community College (2011) Hopkinsville Community College (2011) Jefferson Community and Technical College District (2011) Lone Star College-Montgomery (2010) TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS

13 Foundations of Excellence ® Transfer Focus Schools Madisonville Community College (2011) Malcolm X College (2010) Massachusetts Bay Community College (2010) Maysville Community and Technical College (2011) Mercer County Community College (2010) Minnesota State Community and Technical College (2010) North West Arkansas Community College (2010) Olive-Harvey College (2010) Owensboro Community and Technical College (2011) Palo Alto College (2010) San Antonio College (2012) Somerset Community College (2011) Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (2011) St. Cloud Technical & Community College (2010) Waubonsee Community College (2011) Waycross College (2010) West Kentucky Community and Technical College (2011) TWO-YEAR INSTITUTIONS

14 And one entire state system:

15 It is the action or process of “moving” as an articulated student from one post-secondary institution to another, which may or may not mean “moving” to a different location! Let’s start with the most basic question: What is transfer?

16 Instead, transfer is… …the totality of the educationally purposeful experiences which we intentionally provide our students to enable them to pursue their educational and personal aspirations for academic movement from one post secondary institution to some other learning environment that enables students to pursue a form of educational credentialing which may or not be provided by the sending institution; and in which the student is academically successful after the actual “transfer”

17 Transfer includes everything we do for our students At point of initial entry Proper testing Placement Orientation Advising In the curriculum and co-curriculum Up to and beyond the point of entry into an educational credentialing process not offered by our institution The support we can provide Information Counseling Advising Encouragement

18 The first year experience and beyond For the entire period of their enrollment with us. Another way of stating this is that the transfer experience begins with a successful first-year experience.

19 Unlike this former transfer student, YOUR students are THE NEW NORMAL

20 WICHE’s Knocking at the College Door High School Graduating Class Sizes Are Shrinking When They Return to Previous Sizes  Increased Growth in Racial Diversity  Increased Growth in First Generation College Student Status

21 Critical for your campus strategic interests to help draw, retain, and make more students successful For community colleges which can help offset some of enrollment loss due to economic recovery Very important for your citizens Very important for our country (national 2020 completion goals) Has become the US public policy default route to the BA (see National Clearinghouse Signature report # 2) Transfer matters:

22 It may be the only way to make up for impact of decline in numbers of high school graduates. Maine’s peaked in 2007 – 2008 at 17,000 graduates 2019 – 20 projection is 13, 521 (21% decrease) Transfer matters:

23 National Student Clearinghouse Signature Report #2 1/3 of all students in the 2006 cohort transferred Adding Associate Degree holders, this comes to almost 40% These numbers of students accumulate across cohorts Transfer is the norm, not the anomaly

24 Transfer is now normative, but… …the amount and quality of attention we pay transfers is about what we paid to first-year students 30 years ago!

25 Some things we know: Transfer students are now in the majority Our institutions were not designed primarily to send or receive them

26 Some things we know: There is much we don’t know about them There is much prejudice and discrimination against them We are more dependent on them than ever (all sectors)

27 Some things we know: Multiple kinds of transfer two-year to two-year two-year to four-year four-year to four-year four-year to two-year public to private private to public military to civilian ground to on-line on-line to ground non-profit to for-profit for profit to non-profit multiple models simultaneously=swirling

28 Some things we know: Addressing transfers is a cottage industry=highly decentralized Transfers lack an institutionalized advocate beyond the hand off from Admissions/Enrollment Management Transfers are hard to recruit for optional programs of support—they think they don’t need it. We know this so we don’t make much of an effort.

29 Some things we know: Transfers need and deserve “justice” “Justice” for transfers is next step on US higher education journey for social justice Transfers are a cash cow that don’t count in the rankings race

30 Fundamental questions: Besides the money they generate and appearance they provide for inflated total enrollments, why should we care about them? We know what our value added proposition is for them, but what value(s) do they bring us? What is the impact of their presence on our curriculum, co- curricular activities, learning environment, demographic characteristics, generation spanning?

31 Stated conversely: What would we be like without them?

32 The Big Idea: three components: “Programs” (necessary, but not sufficient) A Plan (necessary) Plan Implementation (necessary)

33 Here is an example of a planning process:

34 Foundations of Excellence Voluntary Comprehensive Institution-wide Self-study Task force-based assessment Planning process Defined

35 Foundations of Excellence produces: An action plan which must be executed A new strategic vision for the first-year/transfer student experience ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

36 Foundations of Excellence ® Institutions: 2003 - 2013

37 Principle: Once you have a plan, you have to execute the plan! Look at what happens when you do/do not implement aspirational plans:

38 Retention ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

39 Retention ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

40 Retention: Private Institutions ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

41 Retention: Two-Year Institutions ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

42 Retention: 2-Year Institutions ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

43 Revenue ©John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Education

44 Some places to start moving forward: Create an institution wide task force of stakeholders Charge this group to conduct a study to produce an action plan for improvement

45 Next, what do you offer them in terms of support? Conduct an inventory of your targeted programs which support transfer? What do you know about who participates and with what effectiveness? What are the common experiences of transfer students? What are the experiences of transfer students that are more unique, and a function of which academic units they end up in?

46 Organizational structures and cultures: What are your centralized approaches to successfully assimilate transfer students? Vs what are your decentralized approaches? Who (individuals and units) “own” your transfer students? Who (individuals and units) are the “advocates” for these students? What do you know about the different cultures transfer students encounter in terms of their treatment in and by academic units?

47 Policies How are these similar/different from “native” students, with respect to: Admissions Evaluation of credit Housing eligibility and deadlines Financial aid (institutional/merit) Orientation Advising Registration Eligibility for student organizations/activities

48 which have developed action plans for improvement: Most common recommendations from FOUR-year institutions

49 Improve and increase assessment and data sharing Transfer student progression, retention, and graduation rates Developing and disseminating transfer student profile data Assessment of transfer programming - e.g. orientation, student success seminars, advising FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

50 Increase and improve communication to transfer students: Most frequently referenced was by means of institutional and departmental web pages Communications about policies Communications about opportunities for student engagement FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

51 Improve advising for transfer students Greatest emphasis was on improving advisor training Incorporating more attention to transfers in new faculty orientation Improving advising handbooks Improving advisor/advisee ratios Assigning more experienced advisors to transfers Assigning advisors at point of first entry FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

52 Make changes in organizational structures to improve services to transfer students very common approach to create a council/standing group to coordinate transfer student programming and support most far reaching was establishing dedicated office for support with designated head and staff FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

53 Provide on-going professional development related to transfer students For both faculty and staff Jointly coordinated by offices of chief academic and student affairs officers FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

54 Develop an explicit institutional philosophy statement That acknowledges importance of transfer students and widely disseminate Also use for assessment and accountability purposes FOUR-YEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

55 Concluding Recommendations

56 Recommendations Do whatever you can to own this issue, make it yours Develop a plan Support an institution-wide task force charged with implementation of the plan Talk about transfer often-especially in every big message

57 Recommendations Embed your transfer student commitment into your institution’s strategic plan. Collaborate with institutions in your service area to support student transfer. Organize your campus to support transfers (e.g., “transfer centers”). Establish a standing committee to oversee the transfer experience.

58 Recommendations Consider offering transfer-bound student sections of college success courses Make orientation a requirement for both first-year and transfer students. Create regional, discipline-based faculty collaboratives to bring together two- and four- year faculty.

59 Final Recommendations Share and celebrate best practices in your service area – state, region Conduct an institutional self-study of the transfer experience (e.g., Foundations of Excellence ® )

60 Final Recommendations Use NEASC reaffirmation of accreditation as an opportunity to focus on transfers.

61 Recommendations Participate in national professional organizations whose work relates to student transfer. And the New England Transfer Association

62 Transfer students need and deserve justice. You need a plan. You need to implement that plan. Conclusion: The big take away ideas

63 John N. Gardner 828-885-6014 Contact Information


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