CIC Announces Teagle Grant for Community College Transfer Pathways Project

2/28/2019 — Washington, DC

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​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) announces a pilot program in partnership with North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) to create pathways that encourage community college students to pursue degrees in liberal arts disciplines at independent colleges. The Teagle Foundation awarded CIC a $400,000 grant for a three-year project to determine best practices for community college to private college pathways that can be used in other states.

In announcing the grant, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “We know that community college students can enhance their prospects for successful and timely completion of bachelor’s degrees at private colleges, and we also know that CIC colleges and universities can benefit tremendously by increasing the number of well-prepared community college transfer students.” He noted that “the Teagle Foundation’s generous grant will have a powerful effect in North Carolina and beyond.”

North Carolina has already developed a comprehensive articulation agreement that allows community college students to transfer as juniors with their general education requirements fulfilled to any of 30 NCICU institutions. In addition, NCICU recently completed pathways in nursing, fine arts, theater, and music. This grant will assist NCICU in developing two additional pathways in liberal arts disciplines. Pathways in psychology and sociology will be mapped out by 14 NCICU institutions paired with 14 two-year colleges (13 community colleges and one private two-year college) (see lists below). The colleges will work together to create a “culture of transfer” that ensures students receive the fullest possible information and are carefully advised from their first year at a two-year college until graduation with a bachelor’s degree. Through two workshops and a peer-to-peer visitation program, faculty and staff members will collaborate with their counterparts at their partner institutions to establish trust, design clear and workable articulation agreements, and build effective communication and advising mechanisms.

A wide range of barriers often hinders community college students from completing the transfer to a four-year institution and attaining a bachelor’s degree. These include inadequate advising and a lack of clearly articulated transfer pathways from community colleges to baccalaureate institutions. The lack of advising is a particularly problematic issue, as the complexity of the transfer process can deter students who do not receive guidance at critical points in the process. According to Ekman, “The loss of credits during the transfer process can have severe consequences for students. Not only does taking extra classes cost more and add to student debt, but it can also increase students’ time-to-degree or even lower their chances of graduating at all.”

To ease these barriers, the CIC and NCICU initiative will provide greater clarity in the transfer process and offer more guidance to students as they prepare for transfer from a community college. Discipline-specific guided pathways that provide lists of courses that students can follow to transfer as junior psychology or sociology majors will alleviate credit loss and reduce the confusion and anxiety surrounding many transfer decisions.

“This project stems from a longstanding commitment at CIC to facilitating transfer from community colleges to private, nonprofit colleges and universities,” Ekman noted.

Hope Williams, president of NCICU, said, “We greatly value this partnership with CIC and are deeply appreciative of the Teagle Foundation’s investment in expanding and streamlining transfer opportunities for students from North Carolina’s two-year colleges to our four-year private colleges and universities. The advising and financial aid components of the grant will provide critical supplemental support to help these students be successful in completing their baccalaureate degrees.”

NCICU Participants

​Barton College: psychology
Brevard College: psychology
Campbell University: psychology
Catawba College: psychology and sociology
Chowan University: psychology
Guilford College: psychology and sociology
Johnson C. Smith University: psychology
Louisburg College (two-year)
​Mars Hill University: psychology and sociology
Meredith College: psychology and sociology
Pfeiffer University: psychology
Salem College: psychology and sociology
Shaw University: psychology and sociology
William Peace University: psychology
Wingate University: psychology

Community College Partners

​Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Blue Ridge Community College
Central Carolina Community College
Central Piedmont Community College
Durham Technical Community College
Forsyth Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College
​Roanoke-Chowan Community College
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
South Piedmont Community College
Stanly Community College
Wake Technical Community College
Wilson Community College

​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 765 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers in the United States. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities is the statewide office of North Carolina’s 36 independent colleges and universities. NCICU represents independent higher education in the areas of state and federal public policy and on education issues with the other sectors of education in the state. It also raises funds for student scholarships and enrichment experiences, provides research and information to and about independent colleges and universities, conducts staff development opportunities and coordinates collaborative programs. View more information about NCICU.