Recommendations to States

State policy can make a difference in the effectiveness of statewide 2/4 transfer performance. States with a comprehensive, integrated approach demonstrate a higher success rate in getting transfer students to the four-year degree.

As guidelines for reassessing and upgrading state 2/4 transfer policies, Wellman's report offers an eight-point program of recommendations:

  • Develop baseline information about statewide transfer performance, including retention and graduation of transfer students. Data on transfer performance are a prerequisite to improving transfer policy and effectiveness.

  • Clarify state policy and plans for 2/4 transfer, and set goals and measures for performance. Goals and measures should include two-year as well as four-year institutions. Design policies to meet the needs of the state and the students, rather than the institutions.

  • Identify and invest in core resources. Not all public two-year institutions need to have identical goals. States should focus first on campuses with weak transfer programs, and either improve the programs or earmark alternate sites where two-year students can satisfy their transfer requirements.

  • Perform statewide audits. States should ensure that transfer policies are consistent and that performance measures do not actually discourage transfer.

  • Forge articulation and credit-transfer agreements. States should develop common agreements between public two-year and four-year institutions to standardize transfer core curriculum.

  • Focus on low-performing institutions. States should partner two-year and four-year colleges with transfer improvement programs that aid institutions serving high numbers of at-risk students.

  • Use financial aid to promote 2/4 transfer. Create financial programs that include transfer students by not limiting years of enrollment or reducing awards for part-time students.

  • Include private institutions in both planning and accountability. Create financial and other incentives that encourage private institutions to recruit and retain 2/4 transfer students.


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