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The Transfer Experience


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Table of Contents

  • Foreword-John Hitt and Sandy Shugart
  • Preface
  • Introduction-John N. Gardner, Michael J. Rosenberg, and Andrew K. Koch
  • Part One: Transfer in Context
  • 1) Looking Back to See the Future: The Transfer Pathway as Historical Mirage-Steven Handel
  • 2) Institutional Barriers to Baccalaureate Transfer for Community College Students-John Fink & Davis Jenkins
  • 3) Reframing Transfer as a Social Justice Imperative-Michael Rosenberg and Andrew Koch
  • 4) Utilizing Transformative Theoretical Frameworks with Transfer Students of Color-Jose Del Real Viramontes and Dimpal Jain
  • Part Two: Pathways, Transitions, and Support
  • 5) A Guide for the Perplexed: Creating a Transfer Affirming Culture at Four-Year Institutions to Increase the Enrollment of Community College Transfer Students-Steven Handel
  • 6) Making Financial Aid Work for Transfer Students-Jason Taylor
  • 7) The Need for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Revolution to Support Transfer Student Success-Karen Silberman and Rose Rojas
  • 8) The Journey of a Transfer Student into a Competency-Based Degree Program-Michelle Alvarez, Tess Diver, and Jamie Holcomb
  • 9) Leading Disruptive Innovation: Reverse Credit Transfer for Post-Traditional Transfer Students-Debra Bragg & Heather McCambly
  • 10) State Higher Education System Information Provision to Promote Transfer Student Success-Angie Bell
  • 11) Transferring Countries: International Perspectives and Student Immigration Issues-Jason Chambers, Karen Ramos, and Sarah Mackey
  • Part Three: Teaching and Learning
  • 12) The Chief Academic Officer's Role in Transfer Student Success-Mark Canada
  • 13) Momentum Stoppers and Equity Blockers: The Implications of Gateway Courses for Students at Their Transfer-Receiving Institutions-Andrew Koch & Brent Drake
  • 14) Teaching for Inspiration: Approaches to Engaging Transfer Students in Gateway Courses-Stephanie Foote
  • 15) Digital Learning for Transfer Students: From Definition to Applicable Possibilities-Susannah McGowan
  • Part Four: Case Studies: Transfer in Action
  • 16) A Deep Commitment To Transfer Student Access and Success: The University of Central Florida Story-Maribeth Ehasz and J. Jeffrey Jones
  • 17) Creating a Culture of Transfer: The Story of Arizona State University's Transfer Transformation-Maria Hesse
  • Conclusion-John N. Gardner, Michael J. Rosenberg, Andrew K. Koch
  • Case Studies and Other Resources (Online Compendium)
  • Case #1 A Culture of Transfer: How Stella and Charles Guttman Community College Supports Transfer and Completion at Four-Year Institutions-Danielle Insalaco-Egan
  • Case #2 A Quest for Equitable Transfer: Transfer Policies & Practices of the City University of New York-Chet Jordan and Niesha Ziehmke
  • Case #3 Making the Transition Seamless: From Perimeter College to Georgia State University-Charles Fox
  • Case #4 Advancing an Organizational Focus on Transfer Students: A Mission Driven Approach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)-Catherine Buyarski, Julie Landaw, Boyd Bradshaw, James Gladden, and Kathy E. Johnson
  • Case #5 Student Success for Transfer Students at Kean University-Deborah Skibitski and Jonathan Mercantini
  • Case #6 Partnerships in College Transfer Access and Success - North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) and the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS)-A. Hope Williams
  • Case #7 Transfer in a Rural Setting: The University Center of the Mountains-Deronda Collier Mobelini and G. Edward Hughes
  • Case #8 Instilling Transfer Pride at UCLA-Heather Adams
  • Case #9 Interstate Passport (R): Streamlining Student Transfer Across State Lines-Patricia A. Shea
  • Case #10 The American Public University System: Reimagining "Military Friendly" for Transfer Students-Wally Boston, Vernon Smith, and Melissa Layne
  • Case #11 The Tulsa Transfer Collaborative-Michael DuPont
  • Addendum: Phi Theta Kappa-Erin Cogswell
  • Addendum: Tau Sigma-Lee Colquitt
  • About the Editors and Contributors
  • Index

About the Author

John N. Gardner is President of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.


The Transfer Experience is a gift to educators who view transfer as a social justice imperative. Transfer matters now, perhaps more than ever, and the text offers the most comprehensive, evidence-based analysis of the transfer experience. The authors offer a transformational view of the transfer journey that goes beyond a mechanistic, processual experience. Shattering outmoded transfer assumptions, the authors take care to present a more thoughtful, holistic view of transfer keeping in mind that underserved, first-generation, adult learners should be assisted in every way to fulfill their hopes and dreams of earning a bachelor's degree. The text offers fertile ground for significant equity and justice dialogue, transformational changes and policy considerations.--Laura I. Rendon "author of Sentipensante Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation, Stylus Press"

"As a former vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at one of America's leading community colleges, and as a three-time University Chancellor, I have attended more conferences and read more books about student success than I can recall. The Transfer Experience, edited by Gardner, Rosenberg, and Koch, is clearly one of the best I have ever read. Filled with proven nuggets of successful initiatives, this is required reading for faculty and administrators who are committed to creating a more equitable and successful system of postsecondary education. College access, student success and equity are core principles of democracy and each is achievable."

--Charlie Nelms, Chancellor Emeritus, North Carolina Central University & Vice President Emeritus "Indiana University"

"Helping students achieve their educational goals is a win for everyone, and brings the "American Dream" closer to reality. A key, underutilized strategy in reaching this goal is an effective, holistictransfer system that begins when a student enters an institution of higher education and continues through completion. The Transfer Experience: A Handbook for Creating a More Equitable and Successful Postsecondary System is authored by "transfer warriors" who understand and are passionate about transfer. The book is a comprehensive educational masterpiece that challenges and inspires higher education leaders and policy makers to skillfully and purposefully foster transfer student success, thereby enhancing the quality of life for students."

--Paula K. Compton, Associate Vice Chancellor, Articulation and Transfer "Ohio Department of Higher Education"

"The achievement and graduation of transfer students in higher education is one of the most important issues confronting colleges and universities. Given that nearly half the undergraduate enrollees arein community colleges, we have to work together across the community college and 4-year sector to find structures, programs, and policies to strengthen their success. The authors provide nuanced perspectives on how transfer student success must be addressed."

--Scott E. Evenbeck, Founding President "Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, City University of New York"

"This book is a timely and much-needed call to action to more effectively meet the transfer needs of our postsecondary students. The research contained within these chapters presents a playbook for both campus and state higher education officials to create and execute a strategy that will better serve students, campuses and states alike."

--Robert E. Anderson, President "SHEEO - State Higher Education Executive Officers Association"

"Transfer is a vital mechanism for closing the racial and income equity gaps in higher education, as well as an unnecessarily complex issue that too often leaves students stranded on their academic journeys. I share the authors' holistic philosophy of the transfer student experience and particularly appreciate their emphasis on the student's pre-transfer academic preparation. This handbook is an essential tool for ensuring these students are propelled to degree completion."

--Janet L. Marling, Executive Director, The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students "University of North Georgia"

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