Beyond Transfer

Beyond Transfer: Inside Higher Ed

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Beyond Transfer Policy Advisory Board

The Beyond Transfer Policy Advisory Board (PAB) is committed to dismantling inequitable credit mobility and transfer policies and practices. The PAB–a group of twelve expert practitioners with deep understanding of transfer and credit mobility and a demonstrated commitment to equity (see list and bios below)–is building a new approach designed to center students and the recognition of their learning as they transfer across institutions and move through their varied lived, work and learning experiences beyond high school.

The PAB started its work in 2020 and quickly established itself as a group from which the field wanted to hear.¹ Drawing upon research, members’ diverse professional experiences and areas of expertise, and a collective willingness to innovate to challenge the status quo, the Board has engaged in a variety of field-wide impactful efforts such as:

  • Published three opinion editorials in summer 2020 in national media outlets that target higher education leaders and policymakers, including Diverse Issues in Higher EducationThe Hill, and Route Fifty
  • Served as expert panelists and presenters during Inside Higher Ed’s fall 2020 webcast series entitled “Can We Finally Fix Transfer?“;
  • Given levels of interest expressed by the field, catalyzed Inside Higher Ed and Sova to establish the Beyond Transfer blog, for which the PAB members serve as regular contributors;
  • Made strong and clear recommendations for state, system and federal policy change that will produce equitable outcomes for today’s learners, captured in The Transfer Reset: Rethinking Equitable Policy for Today’s Learners; and 
  • Deepened the impact of the Transfer Reset findings via an exclusive in Inside Higher Ed, multiple podcasts (such as The Key and When Policy Meets Practice), and presentations in important venues ranging from the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students to the Lumina Foundation Strategy Labs SHEEO Network and National Association of System Heads.

In 2022, the PAB is diving into two key topics: the opportunities and limits of engaging accreditors in transfer reform, and the impact of student- and institution-facing financial incentives on improved credit mobility and equity in outcomes for students who transfer. The Board’s recommendations will be pushed out to the field starting in fall 2022.

The PAB is supported by funding from ECMC Foundation and is facilitated by Sova. In addition, the PAB’s work is supported by the following partners: HCM Strategists, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

1 Originally established as the Tackling Transfer Policy Advisory Board, the Board changed its name in 2021 to the Beyond Transfer Policy Advisory Board to signal to the field the need for a system-level conversation that encompasses recognition of learning, credit mobility and learner agency in addition to supports for traditional, linear transfer.

Marty Alvarado is Vice President for Postsecondary Education and Training at Jobs for the Future. In her prior role as Executive Vice Chancellor of Educational Services at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Marty provided leadership and support for the academic affairs and student services programs. In this role, she was responsible for agency-wide policies and programs related to student support, instructional delivery and curriculum with the aim of increasing student success rates and closing achievement gaps.

Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office team in 2019, Alvarado provided support for scaling up regional cross-sector partnerships and state systems engaged in large-scale transformation. This work focused on building regional ecosystems to support pathways to college and career success and economic advancement across the state. With nearly 20 years of experience in higher education and the community college system, Alvarado brings an expertise in program development and implementation, community engagement and partnerships, industry engagement and work-based learning, and has served as a director for learning communities and workforce training.

Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Whittier College and a master of arts in philosophy and cultural analysis from the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Israah Ansari is a third-year transfer student at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in political science and psychology. Having come from a background where higher education was barely an option, she strives to advocate for student success initiatives while furthering her own understanding of education policy.

Ansari received her Associate of Arts in both social sciences and general studies from Howard Community College. While at HCC, she served as the Student Government President and Civic Engagement Programs Associate. In this role, she collaborated with Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, HCC administrators and other community partners to establish various programs, resources, and opportunities that benefit students personally, academically, and professionally. Of note, Ansari began Howard Community College’s Homecoming tradition, implemented monthly Student Safe Spaces for her peers to connect over important topics, united the community through an end-of-Ramadan iftar and end-of-semester Stomp the Yard, and was HCC’s 2023 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipient.

Ansari now engages with Hopkins’ Dean of Admissions and orientation team to improve the transfer student experience, as well as the SNF Agora Institute to increase students’ civic engagement and her involvement in education policy. Ansari’s end goal is to work in higher education to further break down barriers that underserved students face.

Ron Anderson retired as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at Minnesota State in 2022. Prior to assuming that position he served as president of Century College from 2011-2015. Anderson has served in numerous other leadership roles including chief academic officer, chief student affairs officer, and chief financial officer, and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Anderson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Saint Olaf College where he earned a bachelor of arts degree with distinction in psychology. He also holds a master of arts in higher education and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.

John Fink’s research seeks to uncover structural barriers within higher education that result in inequitable access to educational and economic opportunity for racially minoritized, low-income, and first-generation students. He focuses on how educational institutions can change to produce more equitable outcomes, and he prioritizes applying findings to inform efforts to improve community college effectiveness.

Fink uses national and state administrative data to study high school student access and acceleration into college, relationships between community college student outcomes, course-taking patterns, and program of study, and the effects of Guided Pathways reform on student success. Fink led analysis and co-authored with Davis Jenkins the 2016 Tracking Transfer report presenting new metrics and national findings on state and institutional transfer performance. He subsequently co-authored the Transfer Playbook detailing the essential practices of high-performing transfer partnerships. In 2017 he was lead author on a national study of community college dual enrollment students which tracked former dual enrollment students into postsecondary education and provided national and state-by-state outcomes. His work was recognized by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students with the Transfer Champion-Catalyst award in 2019.

Fink’s research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education, Community College Review, Journal of American College Health, Journal of Student Affairs Research & Practice, New Directions for Student Services, and the NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education. He holds a certification in data visualization with D3.js from Metis Data Science Institute, an MA in college student personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in psychology and sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Maria Hesse serves as a Professor of Practice in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Previously, she served as vice provost for academic partnerships, helping to create and sustain productive relationships with community colleges and other institutions, on behalf of students who wished to complete their baccalaureate degrees. She has been at ASU since July 2009.

Dr. Hesse served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College, one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Hesse began her professional career at the Judson School in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she served for seven years as a teacher, dean, and high school principal. She was with the Maricopa Community Colleges for more than 25 years working for Mesa Community College, South Mountain Community College, the District Support Services Center, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Her early years in the Maricopa Colleges included positions as director of student activities and services, coordinator of the Ford Foundation funded Transfer Opportunities Program, and manager of faculty employment for the Maricopa Colleges.

In 1987, she became the first chief student affairs officer for Chandler-Gilbert Community College. She then served for a decade as a faculty member in the Business and Computer Information Systems division, where she also made leadership contributions as the college accreditation coordinator, co-coordinator of the service-learning program, and founding faculty member at the Williams campus. As chief academic officer for four years, she helped double enrollment, significantly expand workforce development programs, and enhance teaching and learning initiatives in cooperative learning, service learning, learning communities, and instructional technology.

Hesse served as president of CGCC for seven years, during which time the college was recognized with many awards and recognitions such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) campus sustainability national leadership award, the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the National Council for Instructional Administrators (NCIA) award for best practice in assessment of student learning, the National Council on Student Development (NCSD) award for best practices in student services, the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACTEPP) exceptional colleges award, and the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) High Performing Colleges in Active and Collaborative Learning.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management, and has served as a consultant to other colleges from Florida to California on service learning, learning communities, technology, and accreditation. She is also actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of Positive Paths, Friendly House and Experience Matters.

Cheryl Hyman is a nationally recognized executive leader and former City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) chancellor. She joined the Office of the University Provost in 2019.

Hyman will lead academic partnerships between ASU and the community colleges, both locally and nationally, ensuring that students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree have the resources and a pathway to successfully transition to ASU.

A Chicago native and a community college graduate herself, Hyman was appointed chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) in April of 2010. Under her leadership, she led the Reinvention of the City Colleges of Chicago – a partnership with faculty, staff, students, four-year colleges, and members of the civic and business communities to ensure that all CCC students successfully graduate and are prepared to further their college education and careers.

During this time, the graduation rate more than doubled and degrees awarded annually were the highest on record in CCC’s history, and she was named one of America’s Ten Most Innovative College Presidents by Washington Monthly.

Most recently, Hyman published a book, “Reinvention: The Promise and Challenge of Transforming a Community College System “(Harvard Education Press), which focuses on the Reinvention initiative and improving student outcomes.

Prior to her appointment at CCC, Hyman has served as vice president of operations, strategy and business intelligence at the Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), the largest electric utility in Illinois. She held positions in various areas across the company during her 14-year career including information technology, community and economic development, and government and legislative affairs.

Hyman is also a member of the board of directors for the national advocacy organization Complete College America – a non-profit organization leading America’s effort to improve college graduation rates, and she serves as a member of The Urban Institute’s US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, to name a few. She is a former member of the Illinois Community College Board and previously served on the board of directors for The Night Ministry of Chicago whose mission is to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of the Chicago community struggling with poverty and homelessness.

An expert in college reform, she frequently lends her expertise on various panels for groups such as The Hamilton Project, the Center for American Progress, NBC News’ Education Nation Summit and Aspen Ideas Festival. Additionally, her work has been cited in major publications to include The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Hyman is a graduate of Olive-Harvey College – a City Colleges of Chicago college – earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in community development with a certification in nonprofit management from North Park University and an executive master’s in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Dr. Aisha Lowe is a passionate educator who has dedicated her life to improving education for all students and communities. Dr. Lowe joined the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in 2020 and now serves as the Executive Vice Chancellor for the Office of Equitable Student Learning, Experience and Impact. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Lowe has worked with at-risk youth, taught middle school, led educational research and policy efforts, instructed college students, and served as a higher education administrator.

In her current role, she leads Academic Affairs, Student Services, and Workforce & Economic Development for the California Community Colleges’ 116 colleges and 1.8 million students, overseeing over $3 billion in funding and numerous statewide programs and initiatives. She previously served as the system’s Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Supports where she provided leadership for Educational Services division and Academic Affairs activities in six areas: 1) curriculum chaptering and approval; 2) intersegmental coordination; 3) student equity programs; 4) new program development; 5) enrollment and retention initiatives; and 6) innovations in teaching and learning (e.g., credit for prior learning, competency-based education).

Prior to her work at the CCCCO, Dr. Lowe served as Associate Professor of Education at William Jessup University, where she oversaw the thesis research of future teachers in training. She also served as the Dean of the Office of Academic Research, leading the university’s Strategic Academic Research Plan and academic grant making. Additionally, Dr. Lowe served the students of the Los Rios Community College District, Sierra College and CSU Sacramento as an adjunct professor for over eight years. Her professional background further includes serving as an independent consultant supporting the research and evaluation needs of schools, organizations and educators; serving as the executive director of STAND UP For Great Schools; and serving as director of research for the California Charter Schools Association.

Dr. Lowe received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and her Master’s in Sociology from Stanford University where she also received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. Her research expertise includes effective strategies for educating students of color and helping faculty create classroom environments of acceptance and belonging to fully support the whole student and maximize their academic outcomes. Dr. Lowe has been a featured speaker at various conferences and for faculty professional development programs nationally.

Elizabeth ‘Liz” Dooley is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where she is majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Studies. In May 2022, she received her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from John Tyler (now Brightpoint) Community College, part of the Virginia Community College System. She is anxiously awaiting news from graduate programs and hopes to continue her education in fall 2024.

While attending JTCC, Dooley was involved with the Mellon Pathways Program, which encourages community college students to consider arts and humanities majors. Upon transferring to VCU, she became a Peer Mentor with the program. She is involved with numerous honor societies, completed an internship at the Virtual Curation Lab at VCU, and is currently a research assistant in the Anthropology Computing Lab at VCU. In addition to being a full time student, she also works full-time in development for a local nonprofit radio station.

Dooley is passionate about advocacy for nontraditional adult, transfer and low-income students. As a Pell Grant recipient, she understands the importance of higher education affordability. Her own path to higher education was not straightforward–she returned to school in 2021 after more than a decade in the workforce. She is excited to be involved in national efforts to make a difference for current and future students.

Dr. Alexandra W. Logue is a Research Professor in CASE (the Center for Advanced Study in Education) of the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY), with particular responsibility for research and scholarship concerning college student success.

Dr. Logue is an internationally known behavioral scientist. She has published approximately 150 articles, chapters, and books, and has served on the editorial boards of many prestigious journals.  Recently, she and her colleagues published the only randomized controlled trial concerning corequisite math remediation, demonstrating its success.  Her most recent book, Pathways to  Reform:  Credits and Conflict at The City University of New York (Princeton University Press), is a case study regarding the difficulty of making change in higher education.

Dr. Logue’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation; the National Institute of Mental Health; the Institute of Education Sciences; and the Heckscher, McDonnell, Mellon, Petrie, Spencer, and Teagle Foundations. The recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Hake Award for excellence in bridging basic and applied research, Dr. Logue is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, The Association for Psychological Science, the Psychonomic Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Logue received her A.B. in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, both from Harvard University. Her general research area is learning and motivation, with special research interests in choice behavior, self-control, food aversions and preferences, and higher education.

Following graduate school, Dr. Logue joined the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she rose to become Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Chair of the Department of Psychology.

She then began her six-year tenure as Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College of the City University of New York. During her tenure at Baruch, five Weissman faculty became CUNY Distinguished Professors, and three others received CUNY’s New Faculty Research Award. At Baruch she oversaw the receipt of several landmark gifts, significantly increased external funding for faculty research, initiated several new interdisciplinary master’s degrees, and instituted an annual conference on teaching and technology that grew to serve the entire CUNY system.

Following her service at Baruch College, Dr. Logue became New York Institute of Technology’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, directing NYIT’s New York, global, and online academic programs in teaching, research, and service. She supervised the libraries, academic computing, academic planning, initiatives in teaching and learning with technology, and research centers. She was also the chief liaison with the faculty and their labor representatives (American Association of University Professors), serving as the lead negotiator for a new five-year collective bargaining agreement. At NYIT, Dr. Logue oversaw the initiation of several new undergraduate and graduate programs and restructured several units, resulting in significant savings as well as program improvements.

In 2006, Dr. Logue began service as Special Advisor to the Chancellor, as well as Associate University Provost, of The City University of New York, a 23-campus system of close to 500,000 students. Her responsibilities included supervision of the University’s performance management process and of system-wide academic affairs projects. From 2008 to 2014, she served as the chief academic officer (Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost) of the CUNY system, with responsibilities for all of CUNY’s academic programs, academic technology, enrollment management, faculty, libraries, institutional research, and students.  Some of the significant initiatives that she led during this time included construction of CUNY’s 2012-2016 Master Plan, the establishment of a phased retirement policy for faculty, randomized controlled trials of several major CUNY programs (including obtaining significant external funds to support these RCTs), establishment of the CUNY (multi-campus) School of Public Health and the hiring of its first permanent Dean, adoption of more effective student learning assessments, the prohibition of all tobacco use on CUNY property, and the creation and effecting of Pathways, a set of policies for easing transfer of students’ credits within the CUNY system.

Dr. Sharon Morrissey came to the Virginia Community College System in 2014. For the past several years, she has served as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs, where she was responsible for state-level coordination of workforce education and college transfer programs, instructional and student support services, research and reporting, federal program administration, and related policy development for Virginia’s 23 community colleges. Dr. Morrissey led initiatives to increase student success outcomes across the VCCS, including transfer program realignment to support mapped pathways; direct enrollment with co-requisite learning supports; stackable workforce credentials; credit for prior learning; dual enrollment redesign; and systemwide enterprise technology solutions to support student success. Dr. Morrissey co-chaired the VCCS strategic planning task force, which developed Opportunity 2027, a six-year plan to achieve equity in access, learning, and success for students from every race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic group.

Prior to joining the VCCS, Dr. Morrissey had a 26-year higher education career in North Carolina, where she served as the Executive Vice President for Programs and Chief Academic Officer for the North Carolina Community College System. Dr. Morrissey also served as President of Richmond Community College, Vice President for Instruction at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and Vice President for Academic and Student Services at Fayetteville Technical Community College. She began her community college career as an English instructor at Central Carolina Community College.

Dr. Morrissey earned a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s in English and Education from Western Carolina University, and a doctorate in Education from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Morrissey serves on the boards of the Community College Research Center, the National Student Clearinghouse, and the Online Virginia Network. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Education Leadership, Policy & Human Development at North Carolina State University.

Elena Quiroz-Livanis is the chief of staff and assistant commissioner of academic policy and student success at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Quiroz-Livanis is also a doctoral candidate in the higher education program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has been at the department for nine years and oversees the the Equity Agenda, which seeks to radically transform the system of public higher education in pursuit of racial equity. Quiroz-Livanis also oversees the Department’s initiatives aimed at creating a unified system of transfer and transforming developmental education.

Under her leadership and with the support of a fantastic team, Quiroz-Livanis worked with faculty and transfer professionals across the three segments of public higher education to develop statewide transfer maps to over 40 majors. The MassTransfer suite of policies and programs includes a statewide course and equivalency database, General Education Foundation, STEM General Education Foundation, Associate to Baccalaureate Pathways, and a Reverse Transfer Pathway.

Quiroz-Livanis has also worked with Massachusetts public higher education institutions to develop a three-pronged approach to transforming developmental education. These efforts seek to increase the number of students completing college-level English and mathematics courses by using multiple measures to assess student readiness, increasing access to corequisite courses, and building multiple mathematics pathways to ensure students complete the mathematics course appropriate for their major.

Most recently, Quiroz-Livanis started working with the commissioner of higher education under the direction of the Board of Higher Education to develop a 10-year system-wide strategic plan focused on racial equity.

Shanna Smith Jaggars is the Director of the Student Success Research Lab at The Ohio State University, where her research focuses on university programs, services, and policies that aim to improve student success. Previously, Jaggars was the assistant director of the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. Jaggars has published extensively on student success topics in journals such as The Journal of Higher Education, Economics of Education Review, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Community College Review, Computers & Education, and American Journal of Distance Education. She has also contributed chapters to Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research and the Handbook of Distance Education. Jaggars currently serves as an associate editor for the journal Online Learning. She co-authored the 2015 book Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success, which distills a wealth of research evidence into a playbook for college redesign.

Dr. George Railey, Jr. began serving as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Success for the Alamo Colleges District in January 2018. Prior to this role, Dr. Railey, Jr. held a variety of executive leadership roles within higher education.

He previously served as the dean of humanities and social sciences in the Los Rios Community College District, dean of instructional services/arts and sciences at Columbia College, interim vice chancellor for educational services and dean of instructional services at Modesto Junior College/Yosemite Community College District. This was followed by positions as the vice president of academic services at Chabot College, the vice chancellor of educational services and institutional effectiveness at State Center Community College District and the associate superintendent/vice president of academic affairs at Allan Hancock College.

Dr. Railey, Jr. earned an Ed.D. in higher education administration at the University of the Pacific, and MME and BME degrees in music education at Eastern Kentucky University. His wealth of experience includes campus and district leadership roles in multi-college districts and expertise in pathways models, workforce education, technology and institutional effectiveness. He is active in numerous professional organizations.