Increasingly, students look and behave differently and bring new expectations to the table. The delivery of education itself is moving faster than the adaptation of teaching styles. The question must then be will Americans be flexible, nimble and entrepreneurial enough to seek a “best in practice” solution that both trains and educates?
The Transfer Student: The New Hot Commodity
August 28, 2012
A few of the more thoughtful institutions are beginning to discover that transfer students can not only supplement and complete a class but also that they can be a fundamental building block in the design of a class.
The decentralized system of higher education in America provides a variety of benefits for students; including a range of options of institutions. Even with these positives, two storm clouds sit on the horizon. First, is the shift of demographics that has many students attending two-year colleges and for profit institutions. The second is the declining number of Americans seeking post secondary training which may suggest a dramatic effect on the workforce. In both cases, the result can create an imbalance in number of college-trained students needed by the workforce and those that are actually produced to match this need.
In this mix, the transfer student has become the new hot commodity. Transfers provide an attractive option for upper level colleges and universities seeking to complete a class. A few of the more thoughtful institutions are beginning to discover that transfer students can not only supplement and complete a class but also that they can be a fundamental building block in the design of a class. Research has established that these students graduate from four-year institutions at rates equal to or greater than the student body as a whole. If they can be retained, the costs to educate transfer students are substantially less than the cost of bringing in a freshman who washes out within the first two years. It seems like a winning admissions strategy.
Unfortunately, many college admissions offices are tied to traditional approaches when building a class. Senior leadership will negotiate transfer agreements between institutions but these arrangements are often excessively bureaucratic and designed to make transfer to the four-year institutions (sometimes by intent) impossibly difficult to obtain…
American higher education is in a precarious role financially with few institutions able to rely on large endowment draws to support their ambitions. If so, the mix of demographics, consumer preference, technology, alternative education, strategies, funding and philanthropy will soon tilt policy toward a search for new paradigms and approaches to seeking a higher education degree… Credentials will become as important as the degree in the eyes of many employers. The early indicators of the change are everywhere but no one seems to have the force of will to connect the dots. A large part of the American higher education system is risking their future by a failure to comprehend and innovate.
To read the full article, you may view it here on Huffington Post.