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It's Time for a Workgroup on Transfer Data

by Tod Massa 26. April 2018 17:33

SB631, which makes substantial changes to transfer from public two-year colleges to four-year colleges, has passed and becomes effective July 1, 2018.

If he signs it, I will call together a working group of institutional colleagues to consider how SCHEV will tackle the reporting requirements as they are quite substantive.

20. In consultation with each public institution of higher education, develop Develop, pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-907, guidelines for articulation, dual admissions, and guaranteed admissions agreements, including guidelines related to a one-year uniform certificate of general studies program Uniform Certificate of General Studies Program and a one-semester Passport Program to be offered at each comprehensive community college. Such program shall ensure that a comprehensive community college student who completes the one-year certificate program is eligible to transfer all credits earned in academic subject coursework to a baccalaureate public institution of higher education upon acceptance to such baccalaureate institution. The guidelines developed pursuant to this subdivision shall be developed in consultation with all public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, the Department of Education, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and shall ensure standardization, quality, and transparency in the implementation of the programs and agreements. At the discretion of the Council, private institutions of higher education eligible for tuition assistance grants may also be consulted.

D. 1. The Council shall develop guidelines for associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate public institutions of higher education to use in mapping pathways for the completion of credits in particular programs of study, including the courses recommended to be taken in a dual enrollment, community college, and four-year public institution setting in order to pursue a specific degree or career. Such guidelines shall define the elements of a pathway map and identify the pathway maps to be developed. Initial guidelines adopted for mapping such pathways shall establish a multiyear schedule for the development and implementation of pathway maps for all fields of study.

2. Each baccalaureate public institution of higher education, in cooperation and consultation with the System, shall develop pathway maps consistent with the guidelines established pursuant to subdivision 1. Such pathways maps shall clearly set forth the classes that a student at a comprehensive community college is encouraged to complete prior to transferring to the baccalaureate institution. The goal of the career education pathway maps shall be to assist students in achieving optimal efficiencies in the time and cost of completing a degree program. Such program map shall also clearly state which, if any, courses the baccalaureate institution has received a waiver from transfer in completing a specific pathway or degree.

E.  The Council shall prepare an a comprehensive annual report on the pertinent aspects of the pipeline effectiveness of studentstransferring from comprehensive community colleges to baccalaureate public institutions of higher education, including a review of the effectiveness of the use of pathway maps in achieving efficiencies and cost savings in the completion of a degree program. The report shall include the following elementscompletion rates, average time to degree, credit accumulation, post-transfer student academic performance, and comparative efficiency. The Council shall adopt guidelines for data submission from public institutions of higher education necessary for such report, and all institutions shall report such data in accordance with the guidelines. The report shall be made publicly available on the Council website and on the online portal maintained pursuant to § 23.1-908

Given the specific interests that lead to this bill and the findings of the JLARC study of the VCCS, our current reporting and data collections do not suffice. Further, this is also taking place in discussions about dual enrollment and advanced placement credit, and I see these as all deeply interwoven, especially with the phrase above "comparative efficiency." For example, how do we compare the relative of efficiency of transfer in terms of credits attempted/earned compared across transfers and non-transfers without considering prior credit earned and knowing what credit applied to general education or to electives? 


I've come up with scary list of changes to collections as a starting point. Let me emphasize, this is just a starting point for discussion purposes. We may decide not to collect the additional data to do this and instead require each institution to do the work and provide us with aggregates in a specific protocol and format and we'll report from those.

Modify Course Enrollment file:

CE Part 1 add new fields:

• Term GPA

• Cum GPA

• Major Cum GPA

Modify Course Enrollment file:

CE Part 1 add new fields:

•Term GPA

•Cum GPA

•Cum GPA in Major

CE Part 2

add new field:

• Course Title

Eliminate ‘MIS’ as an option for more than one percent of grades per institution per term.



Fall Cohort file add new fields and replicate into a Spring Cohort file:

•Credits applied to degree for CLEP tests

•Credits applied to degree for Cambridge

•Did student present a Uniform Certificate of General Studies ?

•Did the student present a completed Passport Program?

•Had student earned an associate degree prior to entry?

•Was a Career Education Pathway map completed?

•Which Career Education Pathway map was completed?


Add a new collection Fall Cohort/Spring Cohort, part 2:

•Includes standard fields for year, term, institution, student

•Type of credit presented (test, course, Prior Learning Experience, demonstrated competency)

•Equivalent course at the receiving institution for which credit was awarded

•Area of credit received: general education, major, elective



We recognize that this is a big lift. However, given the interest in the topic and the various discussions around the multiple bills, I think we need to dive deeply into what is happening. For example, how do we best assess the “use of career pathway aps in achieving cost savings in the completion of a degree program?”  To do this, we have to know if a pathway was used, to what degree, and how does that compare to students who did not follow a pathway or complete a pathway? How does this compare to native students?

Likewise, even though we already report in great detail on completion, time to degree, and attempted credits to degree, that has not satisfied policymakers, particularly since we have not done it to the program level. 

Even though it will take a number of years to develop the required pathways and implement them, to meet the reporting requirements, we will have to implement collection changes beginning next year. 

So, we need some volunteers to work on this. It will be a mix of in person meetings and conference calls. Please let me know if you are interested.



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