In September of 2015, WICHE was notified by the U.S. Department of Education that Interstate Passport was one of 17 projects -- out of more than 300 applications -- to be awarded a grant in the First in the World competition. This four-year, $2.99 million grant will be used to scale and enhance the Interstate Passport through the following four avenues:
- Building a More Robust and Automated National Data Collection and Student Tracking Infrastructure. In partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the PassportVerify infrastructure will be expanded to allow institutions to find out if, where, and when incoming transfer students have earned a Passport so that their learning is recognized. NSC will also collaborate with Passport institutions and Utah State University, which manages the Passport’s Central Data Repository, to provide aggregated data reports on the academic progress of Passport transfer students for two terms after transfer. These services will be provided at no additional cost to institutions already participating in NSC’s Student Tracker.
- Modeling the Mapping of Critical Assignments to Passport Learning Outcomes. In partnership with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), WICHE has engaged lower-division general education faculty at partner institutions in a closer look at how and what types of evidence are being used to determine the same lower-division general education competencies. The goal is to expand faculty understanding and choices of critical assignments in designated courses and to share ideas in competency assessment among institutions. Six institutions in three WICHE states are participating in this work.
- Colorado: Aims Community College and University of Northern Colorado
- Montana: Great Falls College Montana State University and Montana State University
- New Mexico: Santa Fe Community College and New Mexico State University
- Scaling Participation in Interstate Passport. To generate interest in Interstate Passport and better serve the mobile student population, WICHE will launch a robust marketing campaign that builds awareness of the benefits of participating in the Interstate Passport program, including webinars for key stakeholders in the higher education community that target faculty, registrars and institutional researchers, advisors and marketing specialists.
- Researching the Impact of Interstate Passport on Transfer Students. The School of Management and Labor Relations’ Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers University will evaluate the initiative to identify the commonalities and unique challenges of integrating Interstate Passport into institutions’ transfer policies and procedures; examine the processes of ensuring quality and external validity for the new learning outcomes; and assess the impact of the Passport on transfer student retention and completion, especially for low-income students.