Florida International University (FIU) supports the 2nd largest transfer enrollment in the nation in a state with a comprehensive articulation model and strong transfer outcomes. And, while this model is conducive to student mobility, the university recognizes that many students do not transfer, and for those who do, it can be an uphill climb to complete within expected time and credits to degree. FIU builds on Florida’s articulation framework with evidence-based transfer affirming and transfer receptive approaches to further impact student outcomes.
FIU Connect4Success (C4S), a transfer pathway that serves thousands of underrepresented students, is where transfer affirming work happens. Together with its partners, FIU upholds students’ transfer goals and assert their commitment to helping them meet those goals, maintaining their 4-year identity. C4S offers guaranteed admission to FIU with the AA degree; pre-transfer advising by FIU Bridge Advisors housed at partner colleges, and issuance of the FIU student ID card. The university also reimagined STEM and Humanities pathways to include developing students’ identity to their discipline.
FIU’s transfer receptive lens considers students’ onboarding journey with a focus on transparency and timeliness around how credits transfer. For decision-making and course planning, FIUs Transfer Equivalency Database includes over 80,000 transfer rules; these are confirmed at admission with a personalized Transfer Credit Report. To reinforce enrollment momentum, FIU includes transfer students in a financial aid leveraging model and offers micro-scholarships and completion grants. The university also offers just-in-time peer engagement and support during the first term. And, to meet the unique needs of adult learners, it introduced portfolio-based Prior Learning Assessment in several degree programs, including Disaster Management.
These, and other interventions, have improved AA Transfer-In rates (83%), completion rates (55% in 2 years, 76% in 3 years for full-time transfers), and the percentage of transfer students graduating without excess credits (82%). Of these efforts, FIU President, Mark Rosenberg said, “they speak to FIUs founding identity to serve the unique needs of transfer students. Working with the ACE Task Force made us to think more critically about what it means to meet those needs today; expanding Credit for Prior Learning is one of those ways.”
Original Article Posted on 04/2021