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Copeland-Morgan contributes to College Board report on enrolling and educating transfer students from community colleges
At least 50 percent, and in some cases up to 80 percent, of all incoming community college students seek to transfer to and earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. This U.S. Department of Education statistic is just one of many highlighted in a new report released this month by the College Board regarding the importance of the transfer pathway from public community colleges to four-year universities. The report, “Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions – The Perspective of Leaders from Baccalaureate-Granting Institutions,” is especially relevant given that community colleges enroll more than seven million students — nearly 44 percent of all undergraduates in the United States — according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
The new report is unique in that it focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing four-year college and university leaders as they work with their community college colleagues to fashion a more efficient transfer pathway for students. The report includes the perspective of 21 higher education leaders based at 12 four-year institutions across the U.S.
Syracuse University’s Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, associate vice president of enrollment management, is one of the four-year institution leaders interviewed for this report. Her remarks focus on recent policy changes SU’s Enrollment Management has made in financial aid that contribute to improving access and retention for transfer students at SU.
“This report is practical, timely and critically important,” says Copeland-Morgan. “It elevates the transfer student conversation and illuminates the best practices of four-year institutions to improve access, retention and graduation rates.”
Copeland-Morgan and the four-year institution leaders interviewed in this report shared several strategies to strengthen the transfer pathway, including:
- Creating an institution-wide vision that includes transfer students;
- Treating transfers in outreach, admission, and academic and student affairs with a devotion similar to that of first-year students; and
- Understanding that the needs of transfer students may be different than those of first-year students.
The four-year institutions profiled in the report include Georgetown University; Iowa State University; Syracuse University; Texas A&M University; the University of Arizona; University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Central Florida; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of North Texas; the University of Southern California; Virginia Tech; and Wheaton College.
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.