AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Community College (ACC) has joined a national campaign aimed at increasing transfer rates for underserved populations. The program, which partners a community college with a four-year institution, will pair ACC with Texas State University.
The Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) will help the college develop programs and pathways to grow transfer rates for Black, Hispanic, adult and first-generation learners.
According to ACC, national data show 80% of community college students enter with the intent to transfer to a four-year university, but only 34% reach their goal. Transfer success rates are lower among Black and Latinx students.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), along with the American Association of State Colleges & Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities developed the ETI to eliminate transfer hurdles. The groups will provide ACC with personalized transfer coaching support.
“ETI will help ACC continue to close equity gaps. Nearly half of our students indicate they want to transfer after earning their associate degree. We need to ensure we are providing pathways that help them meet their goals,” said Dr. Charles Cook, ACC provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs. “Creating well-defined pathways eliminates excess credits taken by students and supports persistence toward a degree, a vital step in improving transfer rates and bachelor's degree completion in Texas.”
ACC is looking to work with Texas State to serve populations that are historically underserved.
“This partnership will not only strengthen our relationship with Texas State; it will connect us with the 15 other partnerships/consortiums,” said Renee Esparza, ACC Transfer Resources director. “Together, we will develop best practices in transfer and find solutions that can impact all students – especially those who are historically underserved.”
Up to 300 qualified students will be enrolled in target programs over the next two years, ACC said. Key programs include education, computer science, nursing, business and engineering.
“I am delighted to see this project come to fruition,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president/CEO. “As a part of AACC’s Unfinished Business initiative, it is vitally important for community colleges to close the equity and achievement gaps. The Equity Transfer Initiative is designed to focus on new and evidence-based equity strategies that will ensure the successful completion of degrees that lead to family-sustaining wages.”
ACC joins 36 other schools in 13 states invited to participate in the program, while ACC is the only Texas community college recognized for the partnership.
More information can be found on the AACC website.
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