Identify and Address Institutional Barriers
The transfer process is challenging for students in part because it requires them to engage with new institutions characterized by different curricula, programs and practices. A better understanding of receiving institutions can facilitate better support for students in the process of tranferring.
Build Bridges Between Institutions
serving Transfer Students »Strong connections between 2YCs and local four-year institutions are key to supporting students in the transfer process. Webinars and workshops are great ways to develop a working knowledge of the people, programs, courses and student stories at local transfer institutions as a few examples.
- SAGE 2YC webinar: Strategies for Supporting 2YC-4YC/U Student Transfer in the Geosciences
- SAGE 2YC materials for conducting a professional development on issues and solutions related to transfer
This collaborative project includes joint field trips and other activities that help students from both the community college and the university feel like they are part of the same community.
The thread running through all of the Northern California team's activities was an attempt to create and strengthen connections and bridges between the many 2YCs and 4YCUs in the San Francisco Bay area.
The team's 2017 workshop included a panel discussion with representatives from regional four-year institutions to discuss transfer expectations and challenges.
Sean Tvelia has developed a program of campus visits where his students spend time with local university faculty and department chairs to learn about opportunities and gain valuable connections. He has also received funding for a Geopaths program with an emphasis on enhancing the transfer success and employability of geoscience graduates.
Align and Articulate Courses and Programs
Learn how well or poorly the geoscience courses from your institution transfer to the 4YC&Us in your state. Some states have strong articulations with common statewide course numbers (e.g. Texas and Florida) while other states have less coordination (e.g. Oregon and Washington) see: Education Commission of the States 50-state comparison.
- As the details of course transferability vary from state to state and from institution to institution, as well as changes that take place over time, regional workshops like the Road Maps to Completion: A Workshop on Curriculum/Transfer Alignment are an excellent way to understand your local landscape and how it is changing.
- Review existing articulation plans between your institution and its transfer partners.
- For an example of a model articulation guide between a 4YC&Us and its partner 2YCs see OSU's transfer articulation guides
- Some states have a statewide interactive transfer map website that lets users choose 2YC, 4YC, and degree programs: Massachusetts
- Develop a plan for regular revision of transfer and articulation agreements.
Create Pathways Within Your Institution
Examine how your institution supports transfer to four year institutions. Work to create programs that specifically support geology and the earth science students.
- Learn about curriculum and transfer advising at your institution and develop relationships with the advisors.
- Learn about better practices in advising so that you can use them with your students (e.g. Good Advising and Mentoring)
- Be active in developing and revising Guided Pathways at your institution.
- Identify opportunities to obtain funding for transfer programming and for direct student support. The NSF GeoPaths program is an example of a potential funding source.
- Develop and regularly revise materials (webpages, brochures, and handouts) that lay out transfer pathways and possible course progressions.
Recruit Potential Transfer Students and Track Their Progress
of Majors »Early identification of students with an interest in geoscience careers and transfer options is critical to helping them develop a pathway to achieving their goals. 2YC faculty can maximize support of transfer students by incorporating both fundamental geoscience skills and informal advising in their courses. Keeping track of your transfer students after they leave your institution helps you ground your practices and judge success of your program. This also allows former students to continue to speak to your current students, either in person or via Scientist Spotlights.
Bryn Benford and her colleagues at the University Park campus of Lone Star College publicize transfer student successes on their departmental/program website.