San Jose, Calif., Sept. 3, 2002—Effective state policies make a difference for students transferring from community colleges to four-year colleges and universities , according to a new study released by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Institute for Higher Education Policy. The success of community college–baccalaureate transfer is central to whether students enroll in and complete college in a timely manner, as well as whether college is affordable to students and taxpayers, according to State Policy and Community College—Baccalaureate Transfer.
“The bachelor’s degree has become the gateway to the workplace for many students. Making sure that community college transfer is an effective route to the baccalaureate is increasingly important to the future,” said Jane Wellman, Senior Associate of the Institute of Higher Education Policy and author of the study. “Community college transfer is an effective route to the baccalaureate and is increasingly important to the future, particularly if we are serious about eliminating the B.A. achievement gaps for students of color.”
According to the study, the elements of state policy that make the biggest difference in transfer effectiveness are governance (specifically, the inclusion of two-year institutions with four-year colleges in state planning and course-transfer policies) and accountability (setting clear goals and measuring performance in transfer effectiveness). The study includes recommendations about steps that states can take to strengthen policies affecting baccalaureate transfer:
- Establish clear goals for baccalaureate transfer from two-year colleges, and track performance based on these goals;
- Hold both two- and four-year colleges accountable for transfer performance;
- Audit state accountability strategies and policies to make sure they support an effective transfer function;
- Consider using tuition or grant aid to provide incentives for students to begin in a two-year college before completing a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution; and
- Use all colleges and universities to improve transfer opportunities, including public and private institutions.
This study also features an in-depth review of how six states (Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Texas) used state policy to affect transfer performance. The criteria for selection of these states included the states’ grades on Measuring Up 2000: The State-by-State Report Card for Higher Education.
Additional copies of this report can be obtained from the National Center at www.highereducation.org or by faxing requests to (408) 271-2697.