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The Important Role of Academic Advisors
and Marketing/Communications Staff

The role of academic advisors and marketing/communications staff is key to communicating information about Interstate Passport consistently and accurately. It's critical for both groups to know how Interstate Passport works and how it benefits students – both native students who may or may not transfer, and incoming transfer students. And it’s important that both groups communicate accurate and consistent information about Interstate Passport to students, prospective students, incoming transfers, and in all of the campus materials and catalogs.

Campus advisors should be well versed on the Interstate Passport program in order to advise students who may transfer to another Network member institution. Students who plan to transfer, and who know that the Passport Block (lower-division general education) will be accepted at transfer, may have incentive to complete the Passport Block before transfer. Particularly for students at two-year institutions, a Passport can serve as a milestone, an achievement on their path to an associate’s degree. Likewise, incoming transfer students who arrive with a Passport will benefit by having credits accepted for lower-division general education and not having to repeat courses for learning already achieved. These students can proceed on their path toward a degree. Additionally, Interstate Passport can serve as an effective recruiting tool for four-year institutions wanting to welcome transfer students from both sectors.

Working with marketing specialists at the institution and with the registrar, academic advisors should be prepared to share information about Interstate Passport with students and ensure that accurate information about how the program works and its benefits to students is included in the institution’s catalog.

Academic advisors and marketing staff are encouraged to provide feedback to Interstate Passport staff on policies and procedures related to their roles in the program. This includes suggestions for additional topics on the Frequently Asked Questions and recommendations for changes or additions to the Handbook for Academic Advisors and Marketing Communications.

Guidelines for Campus Advisors and Marketing/Communications Staff

The key components of Interstate Passport that advisors and marketing representatives should know are as follows:

  • The Interstate Passport program facilitates block transfer of lower-division general education based on learning outcomes, not specific courses and credits.
  • A Passport—what a student earns when he/she achieves the Passport Learning Outcomes—transfers as a block; it cannot be unpacked by a receiving institution to accept only some areas.
  • Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” or its equivalent in all Passport Block courses in which they enroll; a grade lower than C in a Passport Block course precludes a student from earning the Passport.
  • Students may earn a Passport in different ways at different institutions. These may include course completions, test scores, e-portfolio and/or other ways deemed appropriate by the Network member institution’s faculty.
  • The number of courses and credits required to achieve the Passport will vary from one institution to another.
  • The registrar’s office is responsible for awarding a Passport to students who achieve the Passport Learning Outcomes in all nine areas, and for notifying students of the award.
  • Interstate Passport addresses only lower-division general education. It does not address prerequisites for entry into certain majors or minors. Receiving institutions may require students who transfer with a Passport to complete other lower-division general education courses in cases where those courses are prerequisites for entry into or continuation in a particular program of study, are specific graduation requirements, or required by statute.

Resources for Academic Advisors and Marketing/Communications Representatives

Academic advisors and marketing/communication representatives at all Interstate Passport institutions are encouraged to meet with campus colleagues and counterparts throughout your state to ensure broad dissemination of information about the Interstate Passport program. The templates, sample plans and PowerPoint presentations posted below have been developed for use by all Interstate Passport Network members. Each document can be tailored to your institution to use with students and colleagues, and to disseminate throughout campus. We welcome your feedback – please send questions or comments to cwalker@wiche.edu.

Interstate Passport boilerplate for catalogs and publications for Marketing/Communications Representatives

Interstate Passport is the only nationwide program with a network of regionally accredited two-year and four-year non-profit colleges and universities dedicated to the block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on multi-state faculty-developed learning outcomes and proficiency criteria instead of on specific courses and credits. Students at member institutions experience a more seamless, efficient and economical transfer process. Students who complete their Passport at [name of institution] will not be required to repeat or take additional course work to meet lower-division general education requirements in the Passport’s nine areas when they transfer to any other Network member institution. Students with an interest in achieving the Passport should contact their advisors.

Chair

  • Judy Hay: Academic Advisor, Vice President of Student Services, Laramie County Community College
Hawaii

  • Blake Hunrick: Academic Advisor, Counselor, Leeward Community College
Oregon

  • Casey White-Zollman: Marketing Representative, Vice President Public Relations, Blue Mountain Community College
  • Kristin Mauro: Transfer Specialist, Western Oregon University
South Dakota

  • Jody Owen: Academic Advisor, Academic Advisor Coordinator/Director, South Dakota State University
  • Mike Lockrem: Marketing Representative, Director, University Marketing and Communications, South Dakota State University
Utah

  • Sidney McGuire Brown: Academic Advisor, Academic & Career Advisor, Salt Lake Community College
Wyoming

  • Josh Thein: Marketing Representative, Promotions & Video Production Specialist, Laramie County Community College