Lengthy earlier than COVID-19 introduced chaos to increased schooling, neighborhood faculty college students hoping to finally earn a bachelor’s diploma had been routinely undermined by insurance policies and practices that hampered switch scholar success. Our nation’s poor and deeply inequitable completion charges for switch college students are properly documented, and, regardless of the efforts of many leaders and practitioners, the burden traditionally has been positioned on college students for navigating sophisticated programs somewhat than on establishments for reforming programs to work higher for switch college students.
In recent times, that has begun to vary, however too typically efforts to enhance switch scholar success have been disjointed and siloed, somewhat than working on the core of our establishments and better schooling system. Consequently — nonetheless at the moment — solely 14 % of degree-seeking college students who begin at a neighborhood faculty earn a bachelor’s degree inside six years, regardless of the fact that 80 % begin out saying they plan to take action. Lower than a 3rd even handle to switch to a four-year establishment. And switch outcomes are a lot worse for lower-income college students and college students from persistently minoritized communities, an particularly alarming truth provided that these college students usually tend to begin their schooling at a neighborhood faculty.
We might go on concerning the numbers, however suffice it to say that — regardless of infinite admiration of the issues dealing with switch college students and honest effort amongst many practitioners and leaders — we proceed to fail these college students in large numbers. That’s devastating for these people, and it hinders our nation’s means to construct a wholesome center class now and into the long run. COVID-19 has solely made this example more dire.
About Tackling Switch
Tackling Switch is a nationwide venture targeted on fostering the circumstances for scalable and measurable enhancements in bachelor’s diploma attainment charges for college students who start at neighborhood faculty, with the aim of attaining larger fairness for college students from low-income households and persistently marginalized or minoritized communities of coloration. Tackling Switch is led by three organizations — the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, HCM Strategists and Sova — and consists of targeted work in choose states, in addition to nationwide work geared toward reducing obstacles to switch scholar success. Tackling Switch is made potential by the dedication and assist of Ascendium Schooling Philanthropy, ECMC Basis, the Joyce Basis and the Kresge Basis.
However this second additionally presents a brand new type of hope — a hope that, as COVID-19 perpetually modifications the panorama of upper schooling in still-unknown methods, we’re introduced with a brand new set of alternatives for daring enchancment that ranges the taking part in subject for neighborhood faculty college students who hope to earn at the very least a four-year diploma.
Within the coming weeks and months, we intend to make use of this weblog to raise these alternatives. Final summer season Doug Lederman reached out to debate a survey Inside Greater Ed had commissioned to discover the attitudes of directors concerned in switch coverage and observe at schools and universities. In the midst of these conversations, we explored alternatives for seizing the second offered by COVID-19 to speed up and enhance work round switch scholar success.
Throughout the fall, the Tackling Transfer companions collaborated with Inside Greater Ed to create a three-part webinar sequence, titled “Can We Finally Fix Transfer,” that elevated the voices of practitioners and advocates engaged on switch across the nation. Following that webinar sequence, we had been invited to proceed the partnership with Inside Greater Ed by an everyday weblog curated by the Tackling Switch staff. We’re grateful for this venue and delighted to affix the esteemed ranks of Inside Greater Ed’s bloggers.
We’ve two objectives in thoughts with this weblog: first, we wish to elevate the profile of labor underway across the nation to dramatically enhance outcomes for switch college students as establishments navigate towards a still-unknown “subsequent regular.” Second, we wish to share classes discovered and instruments being created by the Tackling Switch partnership that establishments and programs can use to speed up the tempo of change and enhance the standard of labor geared toward reducing obstacles to equitable switch scholar success.
The work of the Tackling Switch partnership is predicated on the conviction that significant — and meaningfully equitable — enhancements in outcomes for switch college students entail clear-eyed and complete consideration to coverage, observe, management, communications and tradition. This weblog will replicate that conviction by overlaying a variety of matters that talk to points throughout these dimensions of change. We’ll draw on the work of the companion organizations, the most recent insights of main researchers, the on-the-ground efforts of the leaders concerned within the Tackling Transfer Policy Advisory Board and the candid reflections of practitioners working tirelessly to revamp insurance policies and practices at scale. We invite readers to affix us on this endeavor by sharing your personal insights, tales, successes and challenges as you go concerning the work of bettering outcomes for switch college students.
Collectively, we will seize the present alternative for transformation — and essentially change the chances for thousands and thousands of neighborhood faculty switch college students.