In fall 2014, Michigan community colleges and universities adopted the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) which allows students to transfer 30 credit hours of general education coursework from college to the university. This was a big step toward increasing the percentage of students who transfer, but still further work can be done to ensure that more students transfer with an associate degree and earn a bachelor’s degree. To achieve this goal, in fall 2016, Michigan community colleges and universities established a statewide Transfer Steering Committee, with representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities to guide this work.
The FY 2018 state budget included a one-time appropriation to support a statewide initiative to replace the Michigan Transfer Network (MTN) and build multi-institutional associate to bachelor’s degree transfer pathways. The Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) and its 28 member colleges and the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) and its 15 member universities have been working collaboratively to increase associate and bachelor’s degree completion among transfer students from all backgrounds through collaboration among Michigan colleges and universities and engagement with faculty and higher education administrators. MCCA serves as the fiscal agent for the project and staff from the MCCA and MASU are co-leading the project. In addition to the Michigan Transfer Steering Committee that leads this work, multiple statewide project teams with representative membership of institutional experts and related partners are providing advise and counsel as the projects progress.
The project was informed by materials provided from other states that have also developed associate to bachelor's degree transfer pathways as well as several research reports, including the National Student Clearinghouse Signature Report 13 Tracking Transfer, the Community College Research Center's (CCRC) and the Aspen Institute's Transfer Playbook, and a custom report from Dr. Jason Taylor (University of Utah) on Postsecondary Transfer and Mobility in Michigan.
Michigan Transfer Steering Committee
The Transfer Steering Committee’s mission is to increase associate and bachelor’s degree completion among transfer students from all backgrounds. The objective is to make the overall transfer experience more efficient, easy to understand, and simple to navigate while optimizing credit transfer.
Michigan colleges and universities have been working on multiple transfer-related initiatives in recent years and continue to work collaboratively on several projects to improve transfer student outcomes. These ongoing related efforts have and will continue to improve transfer for students across the state and are under the purview of this representative body of academic leaders who have been meeting since Fall 2016 to collaboratively guide and integrate related transfer work, including the new MiTransfer Pathways Project. This project, supported by a one-time state appropriation grant spanning 2017-2010, delivered a new, enhanced Michigan Transfer Network website in Spring 2019. Work to develop statewide associate to bachelor’s degree transfer pathways in selected disciplines will be completed by Fall 2020. Other transfer student success strategies supported by the Transfer Steering Committee are listed below.
Transfer Student Success Strategies
The Transfer Steering Committee, with the support of MCCA and MASU, are using several strategies to improve transfer student success, including:
- Replace the Michigan Transfer Network
- Develop multi-institutional associate to bachelor’s degree transfer pathways
- Align mathematics requirements within programs of study (read more about Michigan's Right Math at the Right Time initiative here)
- Increase awards of academic credit for military experience
- Spotlight best practices to improve transfer student success
- Produce and utilize data on transfer student outcomes
How Can My Institution Get Involved?
Institutions belonging to the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO), as well as the Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), or Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) are invited to participate with both the new MiTransfer Pathways statewide associate to bachelor’s transfer pathways and the updated Michigan Transfer Network (MTN) statewide transfer equivalency database launched in May 2019. Contact your sector representative for more information on how to get involved.
Michigan Community College Association
Erica Lee Orians
Executive Director, Michigan Center for Student Success
Michigan Association of State Universities
Director of University Relations and Policy
Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities
Director of Member Services