Photo courtesy EPCC/Wikipedia
The Texas Transfer Alliance (TTA) has selected El Paso Community College (EPCC) as one of 26 Texas higher education institutions to participate in a one-year collaboration to improve student success in college.
“Changing the transfer landscape to improve student success requires dedicated collaboration between institutions,” said Martha Ellis, the Dana Center’s director of higher education strategy, policy, and services. “Seventy-five percent of Texans who earned a baccalaureate degree took courses at a community college as part of that degree. It is imperative that we work together to make sure students do not lose money, credits, and time when they move from institution to institution to complete their degrees. We anticipate very positive and visible impacts for Texas students, especially those from underrepresented racial and income groups.”
Every year, thousands of Texas students transfer between colleges and universities. Due to differences in policies and curricula among institutions, many students face major challenges in transferring course credits, leading to lost time and increased financial burdens that often impact their chances of successfully completing a degree.
Building on prior TTA work, the Dana Center leads this one-year effort, known as the Transfer Partnership Strategy (TPS), which is supported by a recent grant from the Trellis Foundation.
Since Fall 2018, TTA has collaborated with three national transfer partners—the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, HCM Strategists, and Sova—to develop a long-term strategy for improving successful student transfer in Texas, Minnesota, and Virginia.
Research indicates that successful student transfer relies on a broad range of local and regional factors including:
- Alignment of degree requirements policies between colleges and universities to reduce lost credits
- Reduction of time-to degree-completion
- Introduction of student supports to promote the completion of entry-level mathematics and English courses within the first year
- Student advising designed to provide four-year degree completion plans even for students attending two-year institutions.
The 26 Texas institutions selected for the Alliance’s TPS work represent two- and four-year institutions across the state. Institutions were chosen based on prior success in student transfer-related efforts as well as their relative sizes and positions within the state’s higher education landscape.
The Texas Transfer Alliance is a collaboration between the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), the Texas A&M University System, the Texas State University System, the University of North Texas System, and the University of Texas System.