Transfer students: 10 percent is the magic number

With the increase in non-traditional routes for educational attainment, transfer has become a central focus in higher education. Coupled with this, the use of technology is integral to enrollment strategy, and the activities of the registrar, admissions, orientation, and retention staff are often the difference between student success and failure.  

Transfer can equal success

Student transfer is not a one-size-fits-all process or solution.  Students move in all directions—laterally between similar schools, from two- to four-year institutions, and in some instances, from four-year schools to community colleges (reverse transfer). With matriculation and graduation rates as markers for institutional success, higher education institutions should consider adopting a student-centered approach, with the goal of creating a transfer-friendly environment.

10 percent is the magic number

In a Snapshot Report on Postsecondary Student Mobility, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that during the 2014-15 academic year, nearly 10 percent of all students attended more than one institution, a figure that remained constant for the prior three years. In addition, the mobility rate was highest for students who began the academic year at a two-year public institution (Snapshot Report, Spring 2016).

Institutional leaders must develop and build strategic relationships with other institutions, and improve transparency to guide students through experiences that involve multiple institutions. They must familiarize themselves with student enrollment patterns to understand student transitions, and develop staffing and programs that support transfer students so that they persist through graduation.  

Best practices and practical application

If you are looking to improve your transfer practices, or if you apply technology to your work as a higher education professional, plan to attend AACRAO’s Technology and Transfer Conference (July 9-11 at the Sheraton New Orleans). The program will help practitioners follow best-practice guidelines and develop strategies for achieving mandated and desired outcomes. Register by the June 9 early bird deadline; fees will increase by $125 the next day!