Building Pathways for Success: Supporting Student Transfer from Two-Year Colleges to Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Thursday, Friday 8:30am-11:30am Student Union: Acoma A and B


Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
Norlene Emerson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon
Nearly half of all undergraduates in the US begin their college educations at two-year colleges. Given the importance of community colleges in the academic pathways of so many undergraduate students, what can we do to facilitate the transfer of students from two-year colleges to four-year geoscience and environmental programs? This workshop will focus on strategies to support student transfer, beginning with identifying future geoscientists at 2YCs, continuing through the transfer process, and extending into supporting students who have made the transition to a four-year college or university.


Facilitating transfer of students between institutions is a complex and multi-faceted issue. The workshop will address the following strategies and approaches for bridging the gap between two-year and four-year geoscience programs: Advising/support strategies; development of important student skills through curricular and co-curricular experiences; 2YC-4YCU faculty interactions; articulation agreements; cross-institutional collaborations including recruitment and student research projects, field trips, and bridge programs; and programs that support the transition and integration of students into the 4-year institution. We will also highlight examples that support student transfer from projects funded by NSF grants through the IUSE GeoPaths program.

Target Audience

We welcome participation by all those who are interested in supporting student transfer from two-year colleges (2YCs) to four-year colleges and universities (4YCUs). We particularly encourage 2YC-4YCU teams to attend.


During the workshop and associated Rendezvous opportunities, each participant will:

  • Explore promising practices and share strategies for supporting transfer students in their pathways from their first geoscience course at a community college to graduation from a four-year college or university
  • Share and learn from others, increasing communication and collaboration of those interested in building pathways to success for transfer students
  • Develop individual or action plans and get feedback from other participants


The workshop will include a variety of structured activities, small group and plenary sessions, and reflection and planning time to support productive discussions and exchange of information.

      Next Page »