Interstate Passport Briefing

Francisco Rodriguez, LACCD Chancellor, Speaks on Interstate Passport

Representing one of the newest members of the Interstate Passport Network, Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Community College District participated in a webinar convened by the Chronicle of Higher Education in late September entitled, Transfer Students as a Key to Institutional Resistance. The webinar was moderated by Chronicle senior writer Katherine Mangan. In addition to Rodriguez, panelists included Michael Bastien, president of Rockland Community College, part of the State University of New York system; Janet Marling, executive director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students; and Macia Outlaw, a junior at Mississippi College.

Mangan framed the discussion around the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing stress and uncertainty facing college students across the country. She noted that, “even in the best of times the transfer experience is often complicated and students frequently lose credits that they earned at their previous institutions.” How can institutions keep students in the pipeline? The stakes are extremely high for both students and institutions. Transfer students “could play a pivotal role in the survival of many colleges today.”

Rodriguez highlighted the Interstate Passport as a simple yet effective solution that ensures acceptance of credits for transferring students, and keeps them on the degree pathway. “The onus is on the sending institution. Through the learning outcomes process the receiving institution can say that the credits and courses of an incoming transfer student who has earned a Passport are indeed transferable. It makes it much more predictable and takes the mystery out of getting in. What’s nice about it, as well, is that it’s a whole package. It cannot be decoupled or taken apart.”

The panel discussed other important tools and strategies for transfer students, including strong academic advising and articulation agreements between institutions, as well as collaboration between institutions. It’s in the economic interest of institutions to work together in meaningful ways to support students and their aspirations.

The webinar is just an hour long and well worth tuning in.

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