Florida’s 2+2 transfer pathway is an essential mechanism for increasing postsecondary access and attainment, closing equity and opportunity gaps, and developing a highly skilled and educated workforce. As outlined in FCAN’s recent policy brief, Florida colleges and universities have utilized partnerships and evidence-based practices to help more transfer students get to the finish line.
In FCAN’s latest webinar, Troy Miller, FCAN’s Associate Director for Research and Policy, along with Madeline Pumariega, Chancellor, Florida College System, Dr. Janie Valdes, Assistant Vice President, Undergraduate Education, Florida International University, Dr. Jeff Jones, Vice Provost, UCF Connect/UCF Global, University of Central Florida, and Dr. Fai Howard, Assistant Dean for Upper-Level Initiatives, University of South Florida, discussed the innovative approaches many colleges and universities in Florida are now using to increase transfer student outcomes.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the webinar:
You can’t talk about higher ed in Florida without talking about 2+2
Over half of all juniors and seniors enrolled in public universities previously attended a Florida College System institution, making Florida’s 2+2 transfer pathway an essential mechanism for increasing postsecondary access and attainment, closing equity and opportunity gaps, and developing a highly skilled and educated workforce.
Targeted transfer pathways are helping to reduce the barriers students face to earning a bachelor’s degree
Among Florida College System students who graduate with an associate’s degree, over 90% applied to a single university. Since most state college students are place bound, not being able to get into the university of their choice has been identified as a reason why some FCS students don’t continue to earn a bachelor’s degree. Florida’s traditional 2+2 agreement guarantees FCS students who earn an associate’s degree admission to a public university. New enhanced transfer partnerships, now available at all 28 Florida College System institutions, guarantee FCS students admission to their local university.
Transfer partnerships require commitment from campus leadership to continuously improve
DirectConnect to UCF, the University of Central Florida’s targeted transfer agreement with its six state college partners, launched in 2006 and resulted in over 6,000 new transfer students admitted in 2016-17 alone. The success of the program has been attributed in large part to the coordination and collaboration among its campus leaders, which meet regularly to break down silos and provide their students with the supports needed to complete their degree.
Tailored supports and advising provide transfer students with a “four-year identity”
For bachelor’s degree students on a 2+2 pathway, it’s important they know when they start at a Florida College System institution, it’s their first stop, not their last. It’s why Florida International University has invested in eight Bridge Advisors across their Connect4Success partner state college campuses, to ensure their students have a meaningful and engaging experience at the start of their academic career. These advisors work in tandem with their state college advisors to make sure transfer students have the prerequisites needed to hit the ground running once they have been admitted to FIU. Data from FIU shows students transferring from their partner colleges graduate with fewer excess credits than other transfer students.
The bar continues to rise for what’s possible with transfer partnerships in Florida
Florida’s 2+2 transfer pathway was the first of its kind in the nation when it began in 1971, and has continued to evolve with enhanced articulation agreements like DirectConnect to UCF, which began over ten years ago. FUSE, a new targeted transfer program between the University of South Florida and eight Florida College System institutions, provides a timely graduation pathway for students by guaranteeing admission to not just a specific university, but a specific degree program for students who meet requirements. In 2017-18, the program’s first full year of implementation, the FUSE Scholarship was announced, which provides students who meet credit hour and GPA requirements up to $5,500 to support their degree completion.
Be sure to visit our Past Webinars page for access to recordings and downloadable material from FCAN’s previous presentations.