Community College Research Initiatives

March 12, 2019

NISTS Conference 2019

Transfer as part of the path toward bachelor’s degree attainment is increasingly more common and often the route taken by underserved students. The recent National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) conference experienced record attendance this year demonstrating an increased interest in studying and sharing best practices on the transfer process and efforts to impact education equity. CCRI researchers Lia Wetzstein and Theresa Ling Yeh added to this conversation with a presentation on findings from CCRI’s High Performing Transfer Partnerships (HPTP) study.

Research increasingly shows that effective collaboration between two- and four-year institutions is an essential strategy to improving outcomes for students historically lost in the transfer process. CCRI’s HPTP study takes a deep dive into what makes a collaboration effective, and our NISTS presentation focused on the influence that culture, policy and practice have on partnerships. Around 50 attendees gathered to learn about different collaboration levels (Data Note 6), the barriers and catalysts to collaboration (Data Note 8), and how to create a culture of collaboration (Data Note 9).

Overarching lessons from the HPTP study shared during the presentation were:

  • Transfer partnerships are dynamic, contextual and take intentional effort to start and continue.
  • Transfer partnerships can benefit students.
  • There are multiple ways to enact transfer partnerships.
  • Collaborative transfer relationships can vary along a continuum of levels.

Session participants also engaged in a hands-on group activity to share and discuss the types of collaborations they are engaged in and how to apply what they’ve learned at their institutions. Overall there was positive energy in the room, which participants shared through their session feedback.

This could, with a little finesse, become a full day workshop!

 – Feedback from one session participant 

View the conference presentation here.

Director Debra Bragg Receives Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Award

While Seattle’s snowmageddon unfortunately kept Debra from attending the NISTS conference in person, she was able to accept this prestigious award from afar. In addition to thanking NISTS and her colleagues, Debra touched on the importance of the work that NISTS and all conference attendees are pursuing.

We know the transfer pathways that matter most continue to need our attention. Finding ways to facilitate transfer through college and university partnerships that demonstrate they value transfer students and are committed to removing barriers to their success is so critical.

You can view Debra’s full speech below and read more about the award here.

Several other awards were granted at the conference, including the Transfer Catalyst Award that went to Eboni Zamani-Gallaher. Eboni is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Deb’s formal doctoral student. CCRI offers congratulations to her and all award recipients, and thanks to NISTS for continued recognition of this important work. We look forward to next year!