The Initiative Seeks to Improve Equitable Transfer Student Outcomes
By Mac Walker
HCM Strategists, one of the nation’s leading advocacy and public policy firms, today announced the release of a new Tackling Transfer op-ed. The piece is titled, “As Higher Education Faces a “Corona Swirl” of Transfer Students, Higher Education Must Create Clear Pathways to Degrees,” and is featured in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The op-ed was authored by six Tackling Transfer Policy Advisory Board members, John Fink, Maria Hesse, Cheryl Hyman, Shirleatha Lee, Sharon Morrissey and Elena Quiroz-Livanis. This is the first in a series of forthcoming publications produced by Tackling Transfer board members that will examine the state policy conditions needed to drive scaled and measurable improvements for transfer students.
“Having spent our careers building equitable pathways for students to and through two- and four-year institutions and into careers, we believe higher education leaders must address systemic barriers that keep students from completing degrees that lead to successful careers,” write the authors. They go on to identify four strategies that state policymakers and higher education system leaders can undertake today to end the transfer swirl and ensure community colleges remain an affordable and accessible gateway to higher education, providing economic mobility to low-income students and students of color. Read their call to action here.
For colleges and universities to fully foster social mobility and develop America’s talent, successful transfer is critical, especially for the more than 8.7 million students enrolled nationally in community colleges. In some ways, transfer practices and policies have improved. But one major challenge remains: Few students who enter community college intending to get a bachelor’s degree ever do.
HCM Strategists, Sova and The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program are working together to address this persistent problem across the country through the Tackling Transfer initiative. We are partnering with institutional leaders, policymakers and practitioners in Minnesota, Texas and Virginia to dramatically improve transfer outcomes for baccalaureate-seeking students who begin at community colleges.
The Tackling Transfer Policy Advisory Board will challenge the status quo and make strong and clear recommendations for state transfer policy that will lead to equitable transfer student outcomes. The board leverages the expertise of a dozen nationally recognized transfer champions whose careers have spanned community college and university executive leadership, state government, and policy research and advocacy. Board members also bring diverse state and regional perspectives that will enable this national board to make relevant recommendations for state transfer policy.
Board members include: Marty Alvarado of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office; Ron Anderson from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; William R. Crowe from the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, Austin; John Fink of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University Teachers College; Maria Hesse and Cheryl Hyman from Arizona State University; Shirleatha Lee from the University of South Carolina Upstate; Sharon Morrissey of the Virginia Community College System; Elena Quiroz-Livanis from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education; Jessie Ryan from the Campaign for College Opportunity; Shanna Smith-Jaggars from Ohio State University; and Chris Soto from the Connecticut State Department of Education.