Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

By Patricia Parker

The world of transfer is in what I like to call a state of “wonderful chaos.” After the first year of the Transfer Virginia initiative, more than 350 faculty and staff from across Virginia’s 60+ institutions of higher learning are engaged in serious and productive conversations about how to streamline transfer for all.

The task is complicated and challenging, but this fall has seen great progress in moving from discovery to action because of the great dedication to this work from all levels of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Parker

There’s a link below to view TVA’s annual report and other TVA materials. Here are a few highlights from our first year:

More than 90 courses are being revised and created through collaborative course development. Faculty from community colleges and universities are working to create course summaries and clearly define the expected outcomes for the courses. Through this work, transferability and applicability of courses will be consistent for all students in the VCCS regardless of delivering campus or modality.

Phase I work in progress:   

ART  ENGLISH MUSIC
BIOLOGY FOREIGN LANGUAGE POLITICAL SCIENCE
CHEMISTRY GEOLOGY PSYCHOLOGY
ECONOMICS HISTORY SOCIOLOGY
ENGINEERING    

Phase II work begins January 2020. 

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE HUMANITIES
COMMUNICATION STUDIES & THEATER PHILOSOPHY
COMPUTER SCIENCE PHYSICS
EDUCATION RELIGION
GEOGRAPHY SOCIAL SCIENCE
HEALTH  

Phase III work begins January 2021.

ACCOUNTING MARKETING
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE MARINE SCIENCE
BUSINESS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
DANCE  
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE  

(Faculty – phase II sign-ups are happening now. Please check your email for details and sign-up links.)

The hardest part of this work is streamlining transfer across 60 different institutions. This is compounded by the fact that the course requirements across the 23 community colleges can be significantly different for students intending to earn a bachelor’s degree in the same major.

VCCS faculty can be a part of that solution by supporting the work around “informed curriculum.” What if the two-year and four-year faculty came together to identify the common courses needed across all 4-year institutions for a particular major and then two-year faculty created informed curriculum at their own institutions? The result: streamlined 2-year transfer curriculum that better serves our students who transfer to not only 4-year institutions but also amongst our own institutions.

In early November, the Teacher Preparation Programs and the Engineering Programs from across higher ed came together to ask this question. With every 4-year program represented and a breadth of two-year faculty at the table, more than 75 stakeholders dove into the challenges and opportunities around transfer and created strategies for creating and growing pipelines to Teacher Prep and Engineering through Transfer. They took the first steps in answering the question: how can we best guide students in their first two years so that transfer to any of our programs is seamless? More great work is in their future.

Universities are part of the compromise! Last week, university and VCCS leaders convened for a State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) meeting focused solely on transfer, developing policies recommended by the Commonwealth’s transfer practitioners and engaging in honest conversations around senior institutional commitment.

While there is more work to be done, it is clear that the universities believe in the importance of not only transfer but student completion at both the 2-year and 4-year level.

You can learn more, offer your feedback and ask questions. Just attend one of the course development orientation sessions via the ZOOM platform.

• December 3 – 12:30-1:30pm, or 6:00-7:00pm
• December 4 – 4:00-5:00pm
• December 5 – 8:00-9:00am

All sessions are in the Transfer VA Meeting Room: https://vccs.zoom.us/my/transferva
U.S. Dial in: +1 720 707 2699 Meeting ID: 804 761 5607

Find the TVA Annual Report and other resources at: https://tinyurl.com/TransferVA

Transfer Virginia: Making transfer work for everyone! Success depends on each of us and our willingness to stretch the limits, jump out of the box, be engaged. I welcome your questions, your comments, and your conversations. Let’s continue to ask “What if?” and together believe in the “We can!”

Patricia Parker, Transfer VA Project Director, pparker@vccs.edu

info@vccs.edu'

Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 270,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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