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Transfer institute to hold annual conference Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Dallas

(Jan. 2, 2012) According to a recent report by The College Board, as many as 8 in 10 first-time community college students say transfer is their primary educational goal, yet the national transfer rate for community college students is only 26 percent.

The authors of this new, comprehensive report will talk about their work and the factors affecting the college transfer process in the United States at an upcoming national conference hosted by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS).

The mission of NISTS, which is housed at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega, Ga., is to increase access to and attainment of certificate, associate, and baccalaureate credentials by promoting successful transfer and articulation for community college and university students. NISTS's 11th annual conference, the only national forum to comprehensively address transfer research, policy and practice, will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Dallas.

One of the conference's two keynotes focuses on the report, two years in the making, from The College Board's Advocacy & Policy Center, "The Promise of the Transfer Pathway: Opportunity and Challenge for Community College Students Seeking the Baccalaureate Degree." The report’s authors, Stephen Handel and Ronald Williams, will take questions from NISTS Executive Director Janet Marling and the audience regarding their findings and recommendations, as well as their predictions about the role transfer will play in advancing college completion nationally.

Handel is the executive director of The College Board's National Office of Community College Initiatives and Williams is vice president.

A second keynote featuring Afet Dundar, associate director of The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, will cover new reports focusing on longitudinal transfer student data that looks at the understudied trend of "reverse transfer," or students who go from a four-year institution to a two-year school.

"The work of The College Board offers a unique, longitudinal examination of transfer policy and practice as related to two-year to four-year transfer pathways, while the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center utilizes new metrics to challenge previously held beliefs about student migration patterns and reverse transfer," Marling said. "Collectively, the data presented by these two organizations have created the most accurate portrait of higher education transfer to date."

In addition to the keynotes, the conference will present multiple opportunities to learn about the new Transfer Student Programs and Services Standards and Guidelines released earlier this year by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

“The development of standards and guidelines for Transfer Student Programs and Services is a critical milestone in acknowledging the diverse higher education pathways students pursue,” Marling said. “By presenting a uniform lens through which institutional approaches to providing transfer programs and services are examined, CAS has elevated expectations placed on colleges and universities to assist this growing population.”

Five pre-conference workshops are scheduled and there will be extended educational sessions for seasoned transfer professionals.

NISTS informs and improves transfer policy and practice by bringing together individuals, two-and four-year institutions, state agencies, higher education associations and foundations, and other interested entities to study the issues related to the transfer process so as to facilitate student success and degree completion.

Since its establishment in 2002, NISTS has earned grants to support the institute's research to understand the factors affecting transfer student success during the transition process, and its leaders have presented conferences throughout the United States and internationally. In 2012, NISTS moved to North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega, Ga., which is scheduled to become University of North Georgia on January 8, 2013, through consolidation with nearby Gainesville State College.

The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Frisco, Texas.


Edie Rogers
Social Media Manager

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