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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

Newsletter Article September 15, 2021

Improving Transfer Outcomes One Project at a Time

An entire academic year has passed since the COVID-19 health crisis emerged, and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center has released a new report detailing the impact on transfer. The fifth in a series, it focuses on the 2.1 million undergraduate students who transferred to an institution other than their last enrolled institution between July 2020 and June 2021.

According to the report, funded by Ascendium and ECMC Foundation, higher education lost about 191,500 transfer students during the 2020-2021 academic year. That equates to nearly three times the number of transfer students lost when compared to the previous year.

Transfer is, and remains, an important topic at Ascendium as we aim to smooth transitions in a learner’s journey to and through postsecondary education. Through grantmaking in our Streamline Key Learner Transitions focus area, we fund projects that reform policy and practice to improve transfer and application of credit at the system, state and regional levels. We hope these efforts will increase the number of learners from low-income backgrounds who successfully move between education providers without losing credit, slowing their momentum or delaying credential completion.

The NSC Research Center reports are just one transfer-related project Ascendium has funded. In fact, Ascendium provided funding support to a handful of transfer-specific projects recently.

  • Three new transfer reports were published by the Aspen Institute at the end of August. All three of these resources were created under Aspen’s Tackling Transfer initiative, a partnership between Aspen’s College Excellence Program, HCM Strategists and Sova. The initiative seeks to engage policymakers and education leaders in creating improvements in community college transfer so that more learners from low-income backgrounds and learners of color can successfully complete their degree.
  • Ascendium awarded a grant to the Aspen Institute this year to support Accelerating Transfer Reform, an effort to leverage educational leaders and national networks to scale transfer practices and increase transfer success for learners from low-income backgrounds. Are you a college leader interested in transfer and equity? Sign up for Aspen-AASCU Intensive: Transfer Student Success and Equity sessions, held virtually beginning in November.

The Community College Research Initiative team, based at the University of Washington, will begin a new three-year project to apply and test a transfer partnerships framework. Through a statewide consortium, the team hopes to increase successful transfer for learners from low-income backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

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