Interstate Passport® Briefing
The Interstate Passport Briefing is a monthly newsletter that presents information on program activities, member institutions, research and reports on student transfer, and upcoming conferences, presentations and webinars.
This recent article in Inside Higher Ed makes the case that community colleges provide workforce training and a pathway to baccalaureate degrees, and both of these objectives are needed in today's America. Community colleges provide access to higher education to millions of students that otherwise may not have it, and the essential component of that access is transfer.
The Interstate Passport program requires students to earn a C or equivalent in all Passport Block courses in order to be awarded a Passport. It turns out that’s a good idea not just for students academically, but also for institution transfer rates. A recent article in Inside Higher Ed reports how faculty and advisors at Stanly Community College in Albermarle, North Carolina recognized that students who received grades lower than C were not succeeding in higher education.
We are pleased to welcome Anna Galas as the new Program Manager for the Interstate Passport program. Anna takes over duties from Cathy Walker, who is retiring at the end of March. Anna is now a full-time staff member at WICHE – she has been providing consulting services as the database coordinator for the WICHE Internet Course Exchange program since 2014. In addition, Galas was the Program Manager for NEXus:The Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus), administered by the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) at Oregon Health and Science University.
The Interstate Passport Network is pleased to welcome North Idaho College as a new member. NIA is a community college in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with over 6,000 students enrolled. It is the first member institution from the State of Idaho and has participated in development activities over the past two years. Sherry Simkins serves as the College's Passport Institution Liaison.
Attention Interstate Passport Registrars and Institutional Researchers: If you have not already done so, please submit your data report to the National Student Clearinghouse on Passports awarded for the fall 2017 term. You may submit the Passport Completion data file to NSC reporting the number of Passports awarded.
Both of the recent Inside Higher Ed articles summarized above describe general education innovations that are not likely to fit neatly into course-and-credit based equivalency systems for students who transfer either to or from the institutions. For colleges and universities more dependent on either sending or receiving transfer students than those highlighted in the article, the need to stay in step with partner institutions' general education course and credit patterns can inhibit innovation.
Two recent articles from Inside Education – very worthwhile reading – focus on general education and the efforts underway by several institutions to improve the curriculum to make it meaningful and rigorous. Too often students don’t understand the purpose of general education requirements and what they’re supposed to be learning.