Interstate Passport | Outside Research

Outside Research

Is It Really Cheaper to Start at a Community College? The Consequences of Inefficient Transfer for Community College Students Seeking Bachelor's Degrees
Community College Research Center
By: Clive R. Belfield, John Fink, and Davis Jenkins
May 2017

"For many students who intend to complete a bachelor’s degree, the savings from starting their undergraduate education at a community college is a major factor in their college choice. Yet, given inefficiencies in pathways through college and in the credit transfer process, initially attending a two-year college may be a false economy. In this paper we investigate whether it is more efficient for students to start at a two-year or four-year college if their intent is to complete a bachelor’s degree."

Improving the Odds: An Empirical Look at the Factors that Influence Upward Transfer
American Council on Education: Center for Policy Research and Strategy

​"This brief is the first in a series of three, exploring outcomes for recent high school graduates who begin their postsecondary education in one of our nation’s more than 1,100 community colleges. For years, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers have been concerned by the fact that too few students successfully navigate the complex process of transferring from a two- to four-year institution. As such, we explored student- and institutional-level factors that influence the likelihood of upward transfer for students who enroll in community college directly after high school. Drawing from the results of a multilevel regression model and supporting literature, we conclude by recommending five strategies for high school educators, faculty and staff at colleges and universities, and policymakers to consider to increase upward transfer rates."

Advanced Placement (AP) Policy: Impacts on Academic Outcomes at 4-Year Universities - An Update with New Data
Ohio Public Institutions of Higher Education
By: Shoumi Mustafa and Paula Compton
August 2016

How does the AP policy influence academic outcomes of policy beneficiaries? This report is an update of a previous study with new data on additional cohorts of freshman students.

Demystifying Higher Education Transfer
Identifying common barriers facing transfer students in Oregon
By Ellie Austin, Amy Henson, and Craig Wiroll
Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management
University of Oregon
June 2016

Requested by the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, this report provides quantitative and qualitative data on the barriers affecting students in their transfer of credits from two- to four-year higher education institutions in Oregon. Through focus groups of students and administrators and online surveys, the research team identified four major barriers facing transfer students: (1) no or inadequate advising; (2) perceived lack of support services after transfer; (3) misunderstanding of financial aid; and (4) lack of coordinated, meaningful, and accurate information about transfer requirements. The report provides research findings, analysis and recommendations for improving the transfer process. A must-read for campus advisors and transfer specialists.

How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Student Out of State

"Declines in state support for public universities have helped reshape the geography of public college admissions, leading many students to attend universities far from home, where they pay higher, out-of-state tuition. An analysis of migration patterns among college freshmen shows the states students leave each year and where they go."

By: Nick Strayer
The New York Times
August 26, 2016

Extending the Credential

"College degrees have, for years, been defined by credits earned in courses - with certain combinations of credits necessary (in the major, general education and so forth) to earn a degree. Increasingly though, credentials are being viewed in new and different ways. Some experts say that existing models don't say enough about the capabilities graduates possess. Some favor enhancing the credential and others would like to eliminate it. Competency-based education is central to this debate, but so are such topics as badging, internships, experiential education, testing and more.

The articles in this booklet examine some of these trends, with opinion pieces providing additional perspective." 

Published By: Inside Higher Ed

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Snapshot Report on Interstate Mobility

"Nationally 14.6 percent of all 2013-14 college graduates attended college in at least one other state or territory in the 10 years prior to receiving a credential. The comparable figure for 2010-11 graduates was 13.9 percent. 

As shown in the map, for each state and territory, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has calculated the percentage of undergraduate credential completers in the 2013-14 academic year who had prior enrollments in at least one other state or territory. The median per state/territory was 17.5 percent."

By: The National Student Clearinghouse
Spring 2015

Educational Vision for Utah Student: Higher Education Initiatives and their Potential to Produce an Education of Quality and Value

The Utah System of Higher Education is currently, and has been, engaged in one regional and four national initiatives: the Western Interstate Passport Initiative, Tuning USA, the Quality Collaborative, the Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes and Assessment, and the Liberal Education for America’s Promise initiative. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the initiatives converge with one another on issues such as the culture of higher education, particularly teaching, learning, and assessment.

By: Phyllis "Teddi" Safman
Working Draft
November, 2014

Credit Hour as a Proxy for Student Learning

Neither the credit hour nor the assignment of a letter grade upon completion of a course can tell us much about what students have learned. The credit hour, a proxy for learning and still the coin of the higher education realm, cannot tell us exactly what students know and are able to demonstrate as a function of learning. Letter grades tell us nothing about integrated and complex learning, nor the rigor expected in a course or program; instead, letter grades provide only a comparison that represents some assumed level of mastery.

By: Phyllis "Teddi" Safman
Working Draft
May 8, 2013

Promising Practices in Statewide Articulation and Transfer Systems

A joint publication by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and Hezel Associates, Promising Practices in Statewide Articulation and Transfer Systems highlights state efforts in statewide articulation and transfer. The publication offers promising practices and policy recommendations, which are the result of a research study that includes a literature review, scan of publicly available information, surveys, and interviews with key education officials.

By: Hezel Associates and WICHE
June, 2010

Improving Transfer Access to STEM Bachelor's Degrees at Hispanic Serving Institutions through the America COMPETES Act

"This report is intended to inform the capacity-building effort by highlighting the role of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in producing Latino STEM baccalaureates." Although the report does not directly concern the Passport, it underscores the need to fix the transfer system.

By: Alicia C. Dowd, Lindsey E. Malcom, and Elsa E. Macias
March, 2010