Over the past few years, several states have engaged in systemic transfer and articulation reforms, implementing transfer associate degrees that allow students to both earn an associate degree and seamlessly transfer into a state university. In 2010, Dr. Kisker and the Center for the Study of Community Colleges visited four of these states (Arizona, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington) in order to examine the development of transfer associate degrees and to describe implementation strategies that may be utilized in states that are currently embarking on or planning for systemic transfer reforms.
Major findings include:
Furthermore, the report describes early positive outcomes of transfer associate degrees, including:
This project was generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walter S. Johnson Foundation.
Click here for the full report.
Click here for an executive summary.
This project involved an in-depth, qualitative examination of the types of statewide reforms supported by members of California's inter-segmental Transfer Task Force, the perceived challenges to enacting these reforms, as well as possible ways of overcoming them. The study culminated in a report titled Reforming Transfer and Articulation in California: Four Statewide Solutions for Creating a More Successful and Seamless Transfer Path to the Baccalaureate. In this report Dr. Kisker and her colleagues recommended four top-priority statewide solutions for reforming California's transfer and articulation system so that it better serves all students: 1) associate degrees for transfer; 2) descriptor-based articulation; 3) a statewide online academic planning tool; and 4) shared messaging about transfer and financial aid.
Reforming Transfer and Articulation in California also described the major challenges in enacting associate degrees for transfer and other systemic transfer reforms, as well as possible ways of overcoming these obstacles. Primarly among these challenges are: 1) the fact that California has three separate and distinct postsecondary systems, each with its own leadership, culture, faculty priorities, student characteristics, and resource constraints; and 2) that faculty in California have a large degree of autonomy, are often reluctant to participate in systemic transfer and articulation reforms, and frequently do not trust the quality of coursework or instruction in other segments. Reforming Transfer and Articulation in California provided legislators and system leaders with a clear understanding of the perceived barriers to systemic transfer and articulation reform so that each can be addressed adequately in plans for implementation.
This project was supported by grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, the California State University Chancellor's Office, and the University of California Office of the President.