AACRAO Transfer Initiative

AACRAO Transfer Initiative

By Jacqui Rogers-Frere

Throughout the spring semester, I had the opportunity to serve on the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)’s Transfer Student Success Work Group. This Work Group was tasked with reviewing a variety of transfer-related research in order to create a list of recommended policies and practices in regards to transfer. From there, the standards were set to create AACRAO’s “Recognition of Excellence in Supporting Transfer Student Success.” This will serve as an institutional badging program that will showcase institutions that are doing outstanding work in regards to transfer. 

While putting together the standards, six areas of evaluation were identified: institutional practices impacting access to official transcripts, academic and financial aid advising for outbound transfer students, academic and financial aid advising for inbound transfer students, articulation agreement and/or other mapped pathways, transfer credit evaluation policy and practice, and technology.

Some of these topics touched on “hot topics” across the country. For example, the concept of “loss credits” due to the fact that institutions will not release a student’s transcript for various reasons (primarily due to the student having an outstanding debt at the institution). As well, research shows that students who earn Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits are more likely to graduate, however, very rarely do other institutions accept these credits in transfer.

Together, the recommendations of the workgroup were compiled into a report called AACRAO Recognition of Excellence in Support Transfer Student Success. In the future, AACRAO will work on creating an application and review process for institutions to receive recognition for exemplary work in transfer.

Serving on this Work Group during Spring 2021 was definitely a rewarding experience. First, it gave me an opportunity to dedicate time to truly dive into the plethora of research on transfer-related topics. Second, the outcome of this Work Group will provide institutions (both two-year and four-year) the opportunity to truly measure their current transfer-related practices and policies. The idea behind the standards set within the institutional badging is to give institutions something to strive towards. For me personally, once the standards are officially released, I plan on using it as part of yearly goal plans to pull one or two items a year to work on. AACRAO is working on putting the final touches on the application and credential process, so stay tuned!

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