MCCCD is Working to Guarantee Better Outcomes in Higher Education by Providing Students a Guaranteed Path

Jul, 27 2021

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Along with Illinois and Virginia, Arizona Has Joined Forces with IHEP and HCM Strategists to Develop a Transformational Approach to Postsecondary Transfer Policy and Practice

Amid the health and economic crises that are disproportionately impacting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and underserved AAPI students and students from low-income backgrounds – the very students who are most likely to start their higher education pathway at a community college – clear supports and equitable pathways to complete a degree across multiple institutions have never been more urgent. For every 100 students who enroll in community colleges across the country, 31 students transfer to a four-year institution. Of those, only 14 complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. Arizona leaders recognize that too many students are derailed from their higher education goals by unexpected, unaffordable, and untenable—yet solvable—challenges along their transfer journey. 

To address these challenges and ensure an affordable, clear, and efficient pathway to a bachelor’s degree, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has joined TransferBOOST (Bachelor’s Opportunity Options that are Straightforward and Transparent). Headed by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), in partnership with HCM Strategists, this multi-year state-level initiative will provide students a three-fold transfer affordability guarantee: their credits earned at one institution will transfer and apply to bachelor’s degree completion; their costs will be streamlined; and their time-to-degree will be minimized. After a rigorous review process, Arizona was selected as one of three states to pilot this innovative approach through Arizona’s Transfer Action Committee. 

“The hardest part of a degree should be the learning required to earn the credits – not navigating red tape to ensure that they transfer,” said Mamie Voight, IHEP’s interim president. “At present, too many talented and motivated students are being waylaid by transfer policies that aren’t designed with students at the center. We’re going to change that. We know that by marshalling political will in the interest of deliberate, student-centered policy design, transfer affordability guarantees will be a win for students, families, communities, and the workforce in all three of these states.”  

“The Maricopa Community Colleges are excited to join forces with TransferBOOST in our commitment to meet the needs of our diverse students and communities,” said Dr. Eric Leshinskie, MCCCD Interim Provost. “This work helps to strengthen our student’s transfer process experience, creating an affordable path to a degree and a clear promise of support.”

TransferBOOST is part of ECMC Foundation’s Catalyzing Transfer Initiative (CTI), a national shared learning and collaboration effort between high-impact non-profit organizations that aims to build, manage, and activate new ways to increase successful transfer of postsecondary credits and timely bachelor’s degree completion among marginalized racial and ethnic groups. 

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