FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2021
Contact: Martha M. Parham, Ed.D.
Washington, DC – American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) will lead an Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) in partnership with American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). ETI aims to increase transfer rates for African American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners.
Funded by ECMC Foundation and Ascendium Education Group, the two-year ETI will award up to $27,500 to partnerships between community and four-year colleges to advance transfer pathways and align them to increase transfer and completion for underrepresented student populations. The goal of the ETI is serve 6,000 students from the identified underrepresented groups over the two-year project period. Each team must place at least 100 students on one of five identified transfer pathways by the end of the first year and 300 or more total by the end of the second year.
Sixteen partnerships from 13 states representing 17 community colleges and 19 universities were selected to participate.
|CA||Moreno Valley College||Norco College|
|Riverside City College|
|California State University – Bernardino|
|CA||Sacramento City College||University of California – Davis|
|CO||University of Colorado – Denver||Arapahoe Community College|
|IL||City Colleges of Chicago (ALL)||Northeastern Illinois University|
|MA||MassBay Community College||Framingham State University|
|MA||Middlesex Community College||University of Massachusetts – Lowell|
|MI||Wayne State University||Jackson College|
|Oakland Community College|
|NC||Forsyth Technical Community College||Winston Salem University|
|NE||Central Community College||University of Nebraska-Kearney|
|NM||San Juan College||Fort Lewis College|
|OH||Cuyahoga Community College & Lorain Community College||Cleveland State University|
|OK||Oklahoma State University||Northern Oklahoma College|
|OK||Tulsa Community College||Oklahoma State University – Tulsa|
|Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow|
|TX||Austin Community College||Texas State University|
|VA||Northern Virginia Community College||George Mason University|
|WI||University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee||Milwaukee Area Technical College|
“I am delighted to see this project finally come to fruition,” said AACC president and CEO Walter G. Bumphus. “As a part of AACC’s Unfinished Business initiative, it is vitally important for community colleges to close the equity and achievement gaps. The Equity Transfer Initiative is designed to focus on new and evidence-based equity strategies that will ensure the successful completion of degrees that lead to family-sustaining wages.”
“We are at a critical juncture in education where the imperative to close equity and achievement gaps has never been more urgent,” said Saúl Valdez, program officer at ECMC Foundation. “We are motivated by American Association of Community Colleges’ selection of teams to the Equity Transfer Initiative, a pillar of the Catalyzing Transfer Initiative to address the challenges that marginalized students especially face in successful transfer to a four-year institution.”
“Transferring from one college to another is one of the most important — and difficult — transition points in many learners’ educational journeys,” said Carolynn Lee, program officer at Ascendium. “For learners from low-income backgrounds, which disproportionately includes Black, Hispanic, first generation and adult learners, it’s too often a moment of disrupted hopes and derailed educational goals. Ascendium is pleased to partner with the American Association of Community Colleges (along with the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities) as they lead the Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) to urgently and transparently address the effect that transfer has on inequitable student success outcomes. We are eager to learn alongside the selected ETI participants as they address their transfer challenges through data-driven analysis and evidence-based practices.”
Participants will receive transfer coaching support to advance work plans that include:
- An assessment of the current and/or newly proposed relationship between two-year and four-year institutions to identify obstacles and develop response strategies that lead to a strong transfer relationship.
- A review of current and/or new transfer pathways through an equity lens, specifically identifying evidence-based equity strategies or new innovative equity strategies that allow students to matriculate without losing credit and time to degree.
Partnerships/consortia will also have access to technical assistance provided by subject matter experts, participate in convenings to teach and learn from each other, and inform the development of train-the-trainer tools that colleges interested in strengthening their transfer pathways can use. Additionally, participants will focus on strengthening student support services and ensuring that culturally competent counseling, among other interventions, are considered as viable ways to serve these students.
“As an African-American and first-generation college student, equity in transfer is personal for me,” said Angel M. Royal, AACC’s chief of staff. “It is not lost on me that I could have easily been a part of statistics that show the increasing equity gaps in transfer rates for underrepresented students. In order to address these barriers to success, we must face it head on and implement strategies like the ETI that allow colleges to reframe their transfer strategies and truly move the needle in the right direction.”
“We are looking forward to working together with AASCU and APLU to begin this work,” Royal continued. “Together we recognize the longstanding need for improved transfer pathways and opportunities for students, especially those that help underrepresented students persist and obtain high-demand jobs.”
For more information, please visit https://www.aacc.nche.edu/programs/equity-transfer-initiative/ or contact Tammy Reichelt, AACC’s director of Profession Development and Student Success Strategies.
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s nearly 1,000 member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all. https://www.aacc.nche.edu/