Icon Marketing Staff

The role of marketing and communications staff is key to communicating information about Interstate Passport® consistently and accurately. It’s critical to know how Interstate Passport works and how it benefits students – both native students who may or may not transfer, and incoming transfer students. And it’s important to communicate accurate and consistent information about Interstate Passport to students, prospective students, incoming transfers, and in all of the campus materials and catalogs.

Marketing and communications representatives at all Network member institutions should be familiar with the program to better promote and communicate information about the Interstate Passport to the campus community, prospective students, and parents. In addition, marketing/communications staff are responsible for posting information about the Interstate Passport on the institution’s website and in the course catalog.

Useful Resources for Marketing/Communications Representatives

Interstate Passport Talking Points

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 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 a 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.
  1. Allows cross-border “match” of learning outcomes-integrated general education for block transfer
  2. Is recorded on a student’s transcript
  3. Removes obstacles for students, making the transfer process more predictable
  4. Eliminates unnecessary repetition of academic work already achieved
  5. Preserves institutional autonomy
  6. Streamlines administrative procedures
  7. Can provide an early milestone for use as a retention strategy to improve graduation rates
  8. Can shorten time to degree, thus saving students money
  9. Provides analysis of transfer students’ performance data for Quality Assurance
  10. 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 services.
  • 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. 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 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.)


Marketing/communication representatives at all Interstate Passport institutions are encouraged to meet with their Institutional Liaison, campus colleagues, and counterparts throughout your state to ensure broad dissemination of information about the Interstate Passport program. The Campus Marketing Tool kit and additional resources listed above have been developed for use by all Interstate Passport Network members. Each document can be tailored to your institution to use with students and colleagues, and to disseminate throughout campus.

For more information and support regarding marketing and communications, please contact:

Interstate Passport
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)
3035 Center Green Drive, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301-2204

Telephone 303.541.0307

Email: interstatepassport@wiche.edu