As 2019 concluded, I found myself reflecting back on the past year of activities and accomplishments. We welcomed several new schools into the Interstate Passport Network, expanding its membership to 32 institutions spanning 14 states across the nation. Network member institutions awarded 12,786 Passports to students during AY 2018-19. Throughout the three years of operation, 38,886 students have earned a Passport.
Staff and member institution representatives presented on Interstate Passport at multiple state, regional, and national conferences and meetings, including several regional accreditor annual conferences. Working committees met throughout the year to share best practices and provide first-hand perspective on how Interstate Passport is working for students on member campuses. The feedback gained from the committees serves us well by helping to refine our products and processes to better administer the program.
The Interstate Passport Briefing included several interviews with leading experts including Debra Bragg, director of Community College Research Initiatives at the University of Washington, and Richard Detweiler, founder of HigherEdImpact. In addition, the webinar by Doug Shapiro, executive research director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, provided very instructive information on the transfer landscape in the U.S.
Looking toward 2020, the primary goal is to expand membership of the Network operating on our four guiding principles of being student focused, faculty driven, allowing for institutional autonomy, and built-in quality assurance. We are currently accepting new memberships and would be happy to meet and further discuss the benefits of Interstate Passport with any interested state or institution.
Staff and member institution representatives will have continued presence at state, regional, and national meetings and conferences including the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), The League for Innovation in the Community College, and the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Staff will host select webinars and also have an article that will be featured in an upcoming publication of Change Magazine, with more opportunities to come!
Our Passport Review Board meets at the end of January for its annual meeting and to review and approve the Annual Report, which includes an in-depth analysis of the post-transfer Academic Progress Tracking data submitted to the National Student Clearinghouse. After three years of full implementation and reporting the data are yielding positive results. I am happy to report that the preliminary analysis indicates that students who transferred with a Passport earned an average GPA of 3.48 as compared to 2.93 for students who transferred without a Passport. And the average semester credits taken by students who transferred with a Passport was 11.25, compared to 10.36 credits for students who transferred without a Passport. More details to come on these exciting results!
On behalf of the Passport Review Board and Interstate Passport staff, I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year in 2020!
Anna T. Galas
Director of Academic Leadership Initiatives and Interstate Passport