Using student records from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for the entire 2007 fall cohort of first-time-in-college community college students nationwide, the authors identify partnerships of two- and four-year institutions that were more effective than expected (controlling for student and institutional characteristics) in enabling community college entrants to transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree. Based on this methodology, and in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, the authors visited six pairs of two- and four-year college transfer partnerships identified as high performers, interviewing more than 350 faculty, student-facing and senior-level staff, and transfer students.
From these in-depth interviews, the authors identified a set of essential transfer practices common among these highly effective institutional partnerships. The practices were grouped under three broad strategies:
- make transfer a priority,
- create clear programmatic pathways with aligned high-quality instruction, and
- provide tailored transfer advising.
This article appears in the Community College Review, vol. 45, no. 4.