Brand PlatformDownload Brand Platform

April 17, 2017

Positioning Statement

Interstate Passport is the only nationwide program that is dedicated to block transfer of general education attainment based on multi-state faculty-developed learning outcomes. The Interstate Passport Network of two-year and four-year non-profit colleges and universities provides students with a seamless, efficient, and economical transfer process that removes obstacles for students and streamlines administrative procedures. We grant member institutions permission to award Passports – noted on official transcripts – and ensure acceptance of the Passport for students admitted to member institutions, making the transfer process more predictable for students and encouraging timely degree completion. We track Passport students’ academic performance to inform Network members about the success of their former students for use in continuous improvement efforts and to assure institutions of the academic quality of transfer students’ general education preparation. As a result, member institutions can better serve a nationwide pool of well-prepared transfer students leading to increased rates of retention and completion.

Brand Promise

Seamless nationwide student transfer based on learning outcomes

Brand Drivers

  • Nationwide block transfer of general education attainment
  • Permission to award Passports
  • Acceptance of the Passport for students admitted to member institutions
  • Tracking of the academic progress of Passport students
Brand Personality

  • Bold
  • Student-centered
  • Quality-focused
  • Collaborative

Talking Points and MessagingDownload Talking Points Document

Following are key points of information to help you with discussions about the Interstate Passport to peers and media. For in-depth content, refer individuals to

Five differentiating factors of Interstate Passport

Use these five points to structure the conversation about Interstate Passport

  1. Interstate Passport is the groundbreaking program dedicated to simplifying the transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on learning outcomes.
  2. Membership in the Interstate Passport Network is open to all regionally-accredited, not-for-profit, two-year and four-year, public and private institutions. Institutions may join individually or as part of a system or state agency.
  3. Members may award Passports to students who earn them. Passports are recorded on students’ transcripts.
  4. Passport earners who transfer from Network member institution to another are assured that their Passport will be accepted if they are admitted to the institution.
  5. Interstate Passport tracks students’ academic performance and informs Network sending institutions about the success of their former students for use in continuous improvement efforts and to assure institutions of the academic quality of incoming transfer Passport students’ general education preparation.

  • Allows cross-border “match” of learning outcomes-integrated general education for block transfer
  • Is recorded on a student’s transcript
  • Removes obstacles for students, making the transfer process more predictable
  • Eliminates unnecessary repetition of academic work already achieved
  • Preserves institutional autonomy
  • Streamlines administrative procedures
  • Can provide an early milestone for use as a retention strategy to improve graduation rates
  • Can shorten time to degree, thus saving students money
  • Provides analysis of transfer students’ performance data for Quality Assurance
  • Enables participating institutions to better serve a nationwide pool of well-prepared transfer students
  • Designed by faculty from institutions in multiple states.
  • Include ten areas in the following categories:
    • Foundational skills - Oral Communication, Written Communication, and Quantitative Literacy
    • Knowledge of concepts - Natural Sciences, Human Cultures, Creative Expression, Human Society and the Individual
    • Crosscutting skills - Critical Thinking, Teamwork and Value System
  • Minimum Grade of C or Better - To earn a Passport, students must achieve a minimum grade of C or its equivalent in all courses in the awarding institution’s Passport Block.
  • Academic Progress Tracking - Passport institutions submit data to the National Student Clearinghouse on students who earn a Passport each term and de-identified student data on the academic progress of Passport students. The Clearinghouse reports the total number of Passports earned and tracks and reports the academic progress of Passport students through the Academic Progress Tracking service.
  • Pilot Project: Mapping Assignments to Passport Learning Outcomes – Six institutions -- two institutions in each of three Western states that were not involved in the original development of the Passport Learning Outcomes (CO, NM, MT), took part in a mapping exercise. Faculty in those institutions cross- evaluated both critical assignments intended to allow students to demonstrate proficiency of the PLOs and de-identified student work products responding to those assignments. The exercise engaged faculty in examining how and what types of evidence are being used to determine the same lower-division general education competencies. If faculty found this tool useful, it may be made available for voluntary use by member institutions in the future. A report of the outcomes is forthcoming from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • Passport Review Board – reviews the overall effectiveness of the Interstate Passport program based on results of analyzing data collected from participating institutions by the National Student Clearinghouse, as well as sets policies and addresses any issues brought forth by a state or institution.
  • External Evaluation – Rutgers University’s Education and Employment Research Center is conducting a robust, multi-year evaluation of the outcomes for Passport students, including persistence, GPA, graduation rate, and time to degree.
  • Simplifying the transfer experience for students
  • Issuing a Passport that recognizes student achievement of lower-division general education outcomes
  • The ability to use participation in Interstate Passport Network as a recruiting tool
  • Participation in interstate faculty teams that review the Passport Learning Outcomes every three years
  • Receiving institution-specific reports on the academic progress of former students from NSC annually.

Membership fees are calculated for each five-year membership term based on the number of full-time equivalent students at the respective institution according to IPEDS data for the last reported academic year. The first 100 institutions to join will receive a free five-year term. Fees for institutions with:

  • 0-2,499 students - $2,500 /year
  • 2,500-9,999 students - $5,000 /year
  • 10,000+ students - $7,500 /year
  • Over one-third of all first-time students (37.2 percent) transferred to or enrolled in a different institution at least once within six years and before receiving a bachelor’s degree.
  • Of those who transferred, almost half (45 percent) changed their institution more than once.
  • Of today's transfer population, nearly 18.5 percent of public community college students transfer across state lines, while 24 percent of students from 4-year public institutions transfer across state lines. The percent of students transferring across state lines is much higher for students from private four-year institutions and for-profit four-year institutions. Nearly 43% of students transferring from a private four-year institution transfer across state lines, and 48% of students transferring from a four-year for-profit institution transfer across state lines.

(Statistics are taken from a new report that is an update of the ground-breaking January 2016 Transfer Tracking report, which was a collaboration among the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center; the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia; and Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. This 2017 report updates those outcomes by three years, using a new cohort of degree-seeking students who started their postsecondary education at a two-year public institution in the fall of 2010, and tracks their transfer and completion patterns at four-year institutions until spring 2016.)