Higher Education

How colleges can reduce credit friction for transfer students

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The Metropolis College of New York, a sprawling public system of 25 schools, has been on the forefront of quite a few pupil success initiatives. It banned transcript withholding in 2022, and it has improved switch processes — the variety of college students shifting between one among its two-year campuses, Hostos Group School, to one among its senior establishments, Lehman School, elevated by 24% over a two-year interval.

Now, CUNY and long-time accomplice Ithaka S+R, an academic analysis nonprofit, have developed the CUNY Transfer Explorer. The database permits potential and present switch college students to see if and the way their credit will depend towards a level at any of the system’s campuses.

This system, colloquially referred to as TREX, not too long ago acquired $4.4 million in new grants to make enhancements, a few of which have already gone dwell. The funding can even be used to develop a model of TREX to be used outdoors the CUNY system.

Pooja Patel, senior analyst on Ithaka S+R’s Academic Transformation staff, joined Greater Ed Dive to debate adapting techniques for the modern faculty pupil and the significance of transparency within the switch course of.

This interview has been edited for readability and size.

HIGHER ED DIVE: What sort of suggestions has the Switch Explorer gotten because it first launched?

A headshot of an Indian woman with long hair and thick glasses.

Pooja Patel, senior analyst at Ithaka S+R

Permission granted by Ithaka S+R


POOJA PATEL: It has been very constructive. The mission has actually been about serving to college students get the knowledge they should switch efficiently. To place some knowledge round it, it is estimated 43% of school credit are misplaced within the switch course of. That’s an unimaginable waste of money and time for not simply college students, but in addition taxpayers.

CUNY has about 10,000 vertical switch college students who enter their system. While you depend all of the various kinds of switch college students, it is virtually 20,000 college students. Since its launch, the location’s been visited by simply over 85,000 folks.

Why is it necessary that schools and techniques preserve their switch techniques updated?

The school path just isn’t so conventional anymore. All college students will not be going to school straight out of highschool. And alongside the way in which, they might have gained all types of credit, like AP exams, army credit score, certificates and so forth.

However after they attain faculty, they discover that the system is not actually constructed for them. They’ve bother making an attempt to sift by means of faculty web sites or speaking to advisers to learn how their programs are going to switch to the faculty of their alternative. 

What sorts of updates have you ever made to this system with the brand new spherical of grants?

In January, we launched three new options and a redesigned homepage. Now, CUNY college students — and everybody else, as a result of CUNY TREX is publicly obtainable — can see how a course taken wherever will switch to a CUNY faculty. It isn’t simply CUNY to CUNY anymore. 

Past programs, you’ll be able to see how your exams, like AP or CLEP, are going to use. 

CUNY college students even have a login possibility that lets them get a view of their very own transcripts and actively monitor the programs they’ve taken or are at the moment taking. The enhancements which have been carried out are all about personalization.

What are the subsequent steps for CUNY TREX?

A portion of the brand new funding will likely be used to have a look at what we name “fall-through credit” and have a look at quantitative pupil metrics. We’ll even be doing extra of a qualitative analysis of Switch Explorer’s utilization and implementation.

Ithaka S+R introduced plans to develop a model of TREX for broader use. The place does that course of at the moment stand?

We’re within the very preliminary phases of mapping out what a common model of TREX goes to appear to be and who our accomplice establishments are going to be. We’re doing our personal due diligence, but when an establishment is , they need to come discuss to us.

The objective is to develop a product that takes the core options of CUNY TREX and ingests course equivalency and program requirement data from most larger ed software program techniques. We would scale up from there.

What can schools outdoors of CUNY — particularly those that doubtless will not accomplice with Ithaka instantly — be taught from this mission?

Faculties can assist their switch college students by offering data extra clearly, in an easier format. It isn’t that almost all switch data is inaccurate, it is simply so inaccessible. That is one of many key points that Switch Explorer might doubtlessly resolve.

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