BOULDER, Colo. – The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) becomes the second higher education institution from the state of Alaska to join the Interstate Passport Network. With seven campuses across the state, UAF enrolls more than 8,500 students from all over the world. It becomes the 41st institution across 14 states in the Interstate Passport Network, a national program of two- and four-year colleges and universities that streamlines the transfer process for students.
“We are excited to be a part of the Interstate Passport and are looking forward to welcoming a nationwide pool of students and providing them a modern student experience,” said UAF Chancellor Daniel M. White. “UAF attracts exceptional individuals – those students who seek a world-class academic experience but also desire a respectful, diverse, inclusive and caring environment. Consistent with our motto, ‘you belong here,’ we are making deliberate efforts to welcome a diverse body of students.”
Founded in 1917, the university includes the 2,250-acre campus on Troth Yeddha’ in Fairbanks, plus six community and rural campuses and nine learning centers across the state. UAF has 10 colleges and schools that offer 146 degrees and 32 certificates in 112 disciplines.
The Interstate Passport program was founded in 2011, and became fully operational in 2016. Students who earn a Passport, which encompasses lower-division general education and is based on learning outcomes instead of course-by-course articulation, can transfer to a Network institution in another state and have their learning recognized and general education credits accepted. All students from UAF who earn a Passport can now more easily transfer to any Network member institution without having to repeat or take additional coursework to satisfy general education requirements.
“By joining the Interstate Passport system, we are paving the way for transfer students to complete their degrees without repeating courses for credit they have already earned elsewhere,” said UAF Provost and Exective Vice Chancellor Anupma Prakash. “This will make the transfer process easier and their time to completion shorter.”
Nearly four in 10 college students will transfer institutions at least once during their college careers, and almost a quarter of those will enroll in an institution in another state, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Until now, transferring between schools – especially across state lines – has been made more difficult and expensive by lengthy credit evaluation processes and loss of credit already earned.
“We are excited to welcome the University of Alaska Fairbanks to the Interstate Passport Network, joining both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Southeast,” said Anna Galas, director of academic leadership initiatives at WICHE. “Having all Alaska institutions as Network members will expand opportunities for students across the entire state as well as those who look to transfer to Alaska. Since Interstate Passport launched, member institutions have awarded over 38,800 Passports and as Network continues to grow, we expect to see more transfer students motivated to complete their degrees.”
Even for students who don’t transfer, earning a Passport can be beneficial. Because of its specifically defined learning outcomes, the Passport can become a widely recognizable and documented completion benchmark from which employers can gauge a prospect’s skill level and readiness for a job.
Interstate Passport is a program, based at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that facilitates block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on multistate faculty-developed learning outcomes among its participating institutions. After years of research and development, the Interstate Passport Network, whose members are two-year and four-year regionally accredited public and private non-profit colleges and universities, was launched in July 2016. Member institutions began awarding Passports in the 2016-2017 academic year. For more information, visit the Interstate Passport website.