The state of Kentucky is taking action to increase student success by strengthening the path for transfer students on their journey to a degree. Transfer success is essential to Kentucky’s education attainment goal of 60% of the population with a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030. Transfering is an option for many students, as it is a large money saver to begin a higher education journey in community college. It can also be a money maker, as students who complete a bachelor’s degree after receiving an associate degree have higher incomes than those who don’t transfer.
The problem currently exists that too few transfer-aspiring students are reaching their ultimate goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. The most commonly known model is the 2+2 formula, indicating two years at a community college and two years in a bachelor’s program. However, nationally, only 8% of transfer students complete their schooling in this manner. Not only do students face problems after they transfer, but they also have to jump through many hoops to even successfully complete the move to a full bachelor’s program. It is for this reason that nationally, transfers declined 8% from 2020 to 2021.
Fortunately, there are solutions to bridging the gaps that exist in the transfer path. Access to guidance when choosing a major and making other educational decisions is vital to success. In addition, ensuring proper transfer credit and making the pathway easy to navigate are also helpful tools in this process. Transfer success is also an equity issue, affecting students in minority groups in a much more negative way than white students. It takes the effort of institutions and students alike to ensure that success is common along the transfer pathway. These efforts will allow more people than ever to reach their full potential in the classroom.