The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation will reward community colleges who can improve outcomes for their students who transfer to four-year institutions.
The grant will be awarded to four pairs of community colleges and four-year institutions who will participate in a "design challenge" led by the Education Design Lab.
The lab will select participants based on proposals submitted by community colleges by August 2017. Participants agree to increase by 30% the number of community college students who transfer and earn bachelor's degrees within six years. They'll take one year to design their pathways—the cohort of students entering in fall 2018 will be the first to go through the program.
The best practices for growing transfer enrollment
In order for community colleges to participate, they must have transfer articulation agreements, as well as a "track record for innovation." The foundation will fund several supports for participating schools, including three national meetings for participating college officials, three campus design sessions, a coach, and access to experts in transfer best practices. The foundation will also hire a third-party evaluator to track each team's progress toward the 30% goal.
Approximately 80% of students who matriculate to community colleges intend to receive a four-year degreebut only 14% of these students do, according to the Community College Research Center at the Columbia University Teacher's College. Students also face many barriers to transferring their credits from a community college—around 40% of them don't get credit for completed courses at all (Arnett, Education Dive, 5/9; Fain, Inside Higher Ed, 5/9).
How to recruit, engage, and graduate transfer students
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