Student now earn Passports enabling seamless transfer across state lines
March 16, 2018, Boulder, CO – Thousands of students at North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur d’Alene are in line for a big benefit that didn’t exist when they first enrolled – a Passport allowing them to seamlessly transfer to any campus to which they are accepted in a growing nationwide network of schools.
For decades, the headaches of transferring colleges have been legendary: Each course being transferred had to be linked, one at a time, with an equivalent course at the new school. It was a painstakingprocess that cost colleges and students time and money. Students frequently lost credit for courses that would not transfer or had to re-take courses to fulfill requirements at the new college. More concerning is that according to National Governors Association and Complete College America, many students simply opted out of the process and out of completing a degree.
Now, the Interstate Passport Network (IPN), a nationwide network of two- and four-year colleges and universities, allows students to block-transfer lower division general education credits to any member institution based on learning outcomes rather than the individual courses they’ve taken.
The growing network encompasses 25 institutions across nine states and is aiming for comprehensive national coverage. North Idaho College is the latest institution to come aboard.
“As a community college, North Idaho College is an open-access institution,” said Lita Burns, Vice President of Instruction at NIC. “Joining Interstate Passport broadens our concept of open-access for our students from open access to entry, to now also having access to completion.”
North Idaho College offers a wide spectrum of degrees and certificates for academic transfer, as well as career and technical education programs for the Coeur d’Alene, the five northern counties of Idaho, and the Spokane/Eastern Washington area. The college serves approximately 6,000 students in credit classes and 4,400 in non-credit courses. Along with its main campus, NIC serves the Idaho panhandle with outreach centers in surrounding counties.
“North Idaho College has long been a leader in offering innovative educational advantages, and their IPN membership will allow NIC students to pursue their education at other Network member institutions, without the barriers of an outdated transfer process,” said Patricia Shea, Director of Interstate Passport. “The traditional transfer process often leaves students frustrated and that sometimes leads to them dropping out before completing a degree. As the Interstate Passport Network grows, more students will be motivated to complete their degrees and become part of the modern workforce.”
In today’s increasingly mobile society, more and more students transfer schools multiple times during their academic careers, Shea said. According to a 2015 report by the National Student Clearinghouse, about 4 in 10 students will transfer schools during their college career, and 1 in 4 of those will move to schools in different states. That means thousands of students nationwide stand to benefit from the Interstate Passport Network once it is fully implemented, according to Shea.
Last year 28,000 students who completed their lower division general coursework earned Passports at member institutions. Interstate Passport’s block transfer of credits will take effect for those students who transfer to other member institutions after acceptance.
For more on the Interstate Passport, visit http://interstatepassport.wiche.edu/