Council on Postsecondary Education
COUNCIL FOCUSES ON IMPROVING TRANSFER PROCESS FOR STUDENTS
The Council on Postsecondary Education heard the results of two recent student transfer surveys, both of which will serve as baseline data, at its work session last week in Louisville. The Council is working with the campuses to identify and then eliminate the transfer barriers for students attending the Kentucky Community and Technical College System who seek to transfer to a four-year campus.
Council President Bob King said the survey results provide a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the successful transfer of students.
“Now we have the data. It will allow us to focus our activities in ways that will have the most impact in implementing the new transfer legislation (H.B. 160), our Transfer Action Plan, and to measure annual progress,” said King.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System conducted one of the surveys as a follow-up to a 2004 survey that measured students’ perceptions of transfer barriers.
The Council conducted a different survey, designed to measure the experience of students who had actually transferred from one of 16 community colleges in KCTCS to a four-year public university in Kentucky.
One of the key findings to emerge from the Council survey was that the majority of students who transferred rated a range of transfer services offered by both KCTCS and public universities as good or excellent on average: 62 percent at KCTCS and 70 percent at the universities.
King said he was pleased to see that the majority of transfer students rated the campuses as highly as they did.
“These results validate the transfer improvements that the campuses have made in recent times and show that the issues are not as severe as previously thought,” he said.
He also thanked the students for participating in the survey.
“We are very grateful to all these students for contributing their time and valuable insights to these research projects. Their feedback will help improve the transfer process for others,” added King.
The Council plans to administer the survey and update the baseline report annually to guide improvements and assess progress. More than 2,000 students participated in the Council’s survey.
In other Council survey findings, 61 percent of students surveyed reported that either all transfer credits transferred toward their degree (37 percent) or that the student expected that not all of their credits would transfer (24 percent) due to a change of majors or they accrued credit not required. Of the remaining students, 17 percent were not sure how many credits transferred, 13 percent did not know why some credits may not have transferred, 2 percent cited “other”, while 7 percent cited improper advising.
Additionally, academic advising was the greatest challenge for 25 percent of all students surveyed. Almost all of these students indicated that getting information on which KCTCS courses would transfer and apply to their program at the four-year institution was their major challenge.
The Council members heard that the advising barrier will soon be eased with a new software system coming online later this year. CollegeSource’s Transfer Equivalency System will provide every KCTCS student early in their associate’s degree program with a clear understanding of all courses and transfer policies that will affect transfer to any public bachelor’s program in the state.
In other updates, the Council heard that agreement was reached to expand the definition of transfer to be more inclusive of all the different types of transfer students, including students who transfer for the summer term, KCTCS transfers to out-of-state institutions, and students transferring additional credits from KCTCS to four-year institutions as visiting students.
Under this new definition, the transfer baseline report shows:
- the transfer rate in the 2008-09 school year was 22 percent,
- 8,099 students transferred KCTCS credit to an in-state, four-year (public or independent) institution in the 2008-09 academic year. Of these, 4,445 transferred an average of 44 credit hours from KCTCS when they entered an in-state public or independent four-year institution. The remainder, 3,654, transferred in an average of 14 credit hours earned at KCTCS as visiting students.
The transfer report is available at http://www.cpe.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/76001935-10A9-4E1F-B411-4B8C5C1F65EF/0/TransferUpdate.pdf.