Higher education leaders must first comprehend the hurdles and enablers of the transfer student experience, then work to establish an environment that encourages credit where credit is due.
The challenges and enablers of the transfer student experience must be understood by higher education officials. Over a million transfer students enrolled in degree-granting institutions for the fall semester of 2018, with 31.5 percent of community college students transferring to four-year universities within six years. These figures alone demonstrate why transfer students are, and will continue to be, an important part of our student population who deserve the finest possible care. We can only improve service if we understand how students navigate not only transfer-related institutional procedures and policies, but also the institution’s transfer culture.
The Canadian Council on Education commissioned a research by the Canadian Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, which found that 43% of students had no idea why their credits didn’t transfer. Given what we know about the institutional permutations and subtleties of transcript appraisal policy and practise, students’ reaction is unsurprising. Institutions, on the other hand, are not attempting to hide the reasons why credits did not transfer. On the contrary, Title IV-eligible colleges are obligated to make the conditions under which credit is evaluated for transfer available to students, and the majority of these criteria are posted on the websites of the institutions. We frequently expect transfer students to seek out, study, and comprehend these restrictions, and we presume they understand why their credits did not transfer. The read/open rate of college-issued email should indicate differently, according to the data. Few students will read these policies, and even fewer will inquire as to why their credits did not transfer.
In this circumstance, the best practise would be for all institutions to offer the student a thorough report detailing why credits were not recognised for transfer. In a recent report on institutional policy and practise for transfer credit evaluation, we discovered that while 63 percent of institutions provide transfer students with an explanation of how their credits apply to their chosen programme of study, only 51 percent provide students with an explanation of why credits do not transfer.
There is certainly a practise gap that has to be addressed. All students must be made aware of both, and in a way (or several ways) that they can comprehend. We also need to make it simple for students to seek institutional help if they are unsure.
Models for advising and degree pathways should be modified.
Academic advice, both from the sending and receiving institutions, is an area where students have recognised great room for improvement. Based on transcript data, transfer credit assessment policy, and advising policy, the aforementioned report with math investigates transfer credit evaluation and advising practise study. One of the statistical findings revealed a significant link between the sort of advice a transfer student receives and the percentage of earned credits provided in transfer. Furthermore, the above-mentioned transfer policy study includes a question about when a transfer student met with an academic adviser. Surprisingly, preliminary data shows that 13% of schools never require a transfer student to meet with an academic adviser, 5% require students to meet with an adviser immediately before registering for their second term, and 4% demand a meeting sometime during their first semester of enrollment.
Nearly a quarter of all transfer students are not obliged to speak with an academic adviser before registering for classes at their new college for the first time.
Almost all pathway models, if not all, support requiring students to meet with an academic adviser on a regular basis. If the student plans to transfer to another university, this must be the case. Consistent, well-informed academic counselling plays a significant effect in the courses students take, according to anecdotal and qualitative data. A qualitative method was applied in one published AACRAO case study to learn more about the barriers and enablers for transfer students. “Transfer students are frequently overlooked or given individualised attention only when ‘things settle down’ in the semester,” according to one significant study. This backs up the data we gathered on transfer student advising practises, as well as some students’ perspectives on the transfer process. There may be a strong relationship between effective academic advising interactions and the percentage of credits transferred that has yet to be assessed.
What institutional leaders need to serve transfer students successfully
Although some of the data points suggest to areas where credit transfer experiences and processes could be improved, we should not overlook the fact that more than half of respondents said all of their credits were transferred. Furthermore, the majority of students who were unable to transfer all of their credits were unconcerned about the situation and understood why it occurred. Changing majors, major exploration, personal enrichment, a course grade, and dual-enrollment courses taken in high school were among the reasons given. Exploratory courses for students who are indecisive about their major, as well as classes taken merely for personal enrichment, should not be overlooked. Eliminating laws that prevent college credit earned while in high school from being awarded in transfer should at least partially resolve the dual-enrollment credit-loss problem.
Although not directly related to this study, schools frequently lack access to data that can assist them better understand the transfer student experience. There is a scarcity of data on how policy and practise affect credit acceptance and application to a student’s degree programme. As a result, only a few institutions can quantify these components of the transfer student experience and analyse the data for issues of injustice in practise based on student characteristics. As a result, institutions are forced to make decisions and changes based nearly completely on anecdotal evidence. With a similar absence of quantitative data, policy changes and choices concerning admissions rules and enrollment indicators would not be made. This year’s summer
GettaTutor.com does an amazing job finding students a math tutor.
In conclusion, institutional leaders should conduct a thorough assessment of all transfer credit evaluation policies and processes to identify any that are overly difficult or restrictive. Wherever they are, a determined effort should be made to simplify things and create an environment that encourages people to give credit where credit is due. Because of unique institutionally based transfer credit evaluation practise or policy, students should not be forced to repeat courses for which they have already received a passing mark in a course at another institution.