Transfer pathways are essential to Kentucky student success, but are flawed in their current form. Students transfer largely to save money on college and to make more money after graduation (students who complete a bachelor’s degree after an associate degree). Private universities are double the price of KCTCS schools, and BA graduates earn $26,000 more per year on average. However, the transfer pathways are not as successful as they could be.
The classic model for transfer is two years in a community college followed by two years in a bachelor’s program. Nationally, only 8% of transfer students follow this track to completion. This is an equity issue as well, with white students transferring twice as often as Black and Hispanic students. In addition, students from higher-income backgrounds are twice as likely to transfer than their lower-income peers. Milestones like completing college level math and English in their first year, completing an associates degree, and completing over twenty four credits in the first year greatly reduce this disparity and increase the likelihood of success for students of color.
In order to revise the transfer system, Kentucky plans to center student needs in scalable improvements in transferring, credit transfers, and standardizing credit transfer across Kentucky. They plan to prioritize institutional collaboration and remove roadblocks to transferring students.
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative