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.