Policy Blog Series: Transferring Focus?

Feb 23, 2012 by Matthew Smith

When states consider strategies to increase college attainment, do student transfer issues figure prominently? Are legislatures developing and adapting transfer policies to improve student mobility and degree attainment? A recent scan of 2011 policies suggests that legislatures are using student transfer not just as a narrow mechanism, but as a strategy to address broader state education and workforce goals.

2011 Trends in Transfer

Sixteen states enacted 23 policies in 2011 related to articulation agreements, career pathways and student transfer incentives. Some policies involved institutional funding and created performance metrics around transfer rates; others considered the impact of current transfer policies on college completion. The policies fell into three basic categories:

  • Transferring between systems, not just within (4): Policies that create pathways to college, either through high school or the workforce
  • Strengthening the mechanics of transfer (9): Policies that improve student mobility through articulation agreements, common core curriculum and common course numbering
  • Strategizing for the future (10): Policies that create a framework for setting state goals, developing strategies to improve college completion, and measuring the impact of transfer rates on college completion and state investments.

State Highlights

Maine’s Senate Paper 490 charges the STEM Council with devising strategies for promoting career education alignment and supporting early career planning and transition supports from high school to college or high school to the workforce.

Michigan’s House Bill 4325 directs community colleges to work with public universities to implement statewide reverse transfer agreements.

Florida’s House Bill 7151 directs the Higher Education Coordinating Council to make recommendations on how to improve transfer and articulation policy with respect to the state’s return on investment.

Welcoming Your Feedback

If you would like to see us cover a specific policy issue or if you have feedback on student transfer, . Stay tuned for more blog posts on 2011 legislative trends.

Following is an embedded table from our policy database detailing 2011 legislative enactments related to student transfer.

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