Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Understanding Transfer Success

Over the past week, I heard from people who have had very similar experiences as I did attending a community college - MVCC or any of the other 1,200 community colleges around the country. The incredibly supportive environment most community colleges offer can result in success students might not have dreamed possible. I firmly believe the academic success I experienced my freshman year at a community college was not because the classes were easier than classes I took at the university – rather, the academic standards were just as high as at a university, but a more supportive learning environment allowed me to explore and thrive.

Similar to maintaining high standards, the objectives of the community classes had to be the same as the university classes for my classes to transfer. The same is true here at Mohawk Valley Community College, as our faculty and staff work with faculty and staff from our university partners to align the curriculum and create transfer articulation agreements. These pathways are the key to opportunity for students who start at MVCC and transfer. I've spoken to students (or parents of students) who have transferred to our closest partners like SUNY-IT, Utica College, SUNY Oneonta or Clarkson, or to four-year institutions that review our courses on a course-by-course basis like Temple, NYU or Boston College. These students, and their parents, routinely report not only success in the transfer process, but academic readiness for their continued study, thanks to the preparation they received at MVCC.”

Across the country, community college students who transfer to a four-year college or university regularly achieve grade point averages after transfer equal to or greater than students who start at the four-year schools. The tradition of the transfer success of our students is a great foundation upon which to build and our new Strategic Plan calls for us to expand our transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. The State University of New York (SUNY) has begun a more aggressive transfer initiative throughout the 64 campuses. However, we can't wait for a larger system to come together in ways it hasn't in 60 years - we're taking our own actions to create even more opportunities for MVCC students to transfer to four-year schools and experience success they may not have even known was possible.

If you have any thoughts on how we can improve our transfer programs for students, please share them with me at presblog@mvcc.edu.