What really creates a good transfer partnership that benefits students? We have numerous reports and documents outlining what we should do, but words alone are not enough. As Shakespeare wrote Henry VIII“We are not talking. A kind of good deed called good; And yet words don’t work. ”The strong collaboration demonstrated through specific activities is calculated while working to make a difference in students’ experiences.
Transfer information highlights the need for strong partnerships and collaborations between two- and four-year organizations. These include collective marketing, advice, path development and student support that enable students to transition smoothly from one institution to another. There are calls for faculty to be involved in reducing time for completion, taking more credit, financial aid, and scholarships to help students move on, and to communicate with students on campus.
In the “Transfer Reset” report, the Tackling Transfer (now out of transfer) Policy Advisory Board called for “Transfer Pathways and Transition Streamlined, starting from K-12 and eliminating the ‘transfer maze’ and continuing to enter the workforce.” What steps can partner institutions take to create such a path for the benefit of students?
In my previous blog post, I reflected on creating a sense of unity for students, even in online programs. However, it is easier to provide this feeling of kinship and a strong support when there is personal connection and conversation. That’s where our university partnership in the programs offered at Lorain County Community College by our four-year partners shines.
The Lorraine County University Partnership has a long-term partnership with the University of Toledo in computer science and engineering that builds the activities and support models needed for successful student transfers. This partnership has grown over the past 22 years to truly embody the characteristics of collaboration and student success. Located on the LCCC University Partnership Ridge Campus (UPRC), the program provides a clear path for students to complete their degrees and enter the workforce. We have identified three clear strategies from this partnership that model the behaviors needed for student success.
Student-centered services with prescribed counseling, available faculty, and clearly defined paths
One of the features of the partnership between LCCC and Toledo is the strong student support from individuals who have been part of the program for extended periods of time. The Toledo LCCC Partnership assigns students an on-site mentor who works from a UPRC location. Adrian Aguilar, a Toledo-appointed advisor to the UPRC, has been with the program since April 2001, the second semester of its existence. He also started as an advisor at LCCC, so he has close contacts with both organizations. She dedicates her time and energy to LCCC students, provides guided advice and support throughout the program, and collaborates with LCCC mentoring teams to assist potential students. The faculty teams at both LPCC and Toledo who work at UPRC have a long life with an excellent guidance track record centered on student success. Weng Kang has been with the program since its inception, playing a key role in helping it continue. Others stay with the program for extended periods of time, providing strong support for students in each group. Their passion for teaching and dedication to the program strengthens the relationship and influences students’ success. Also, the Toledo team works closely with the LCCC team, which includes the Faculty of Mathematics and Science faculty, consulting, financial aid, bars and marketing, to ensure that students have what they need to complete the program. As a result of this teamwork and collaboration, more than 230 students have graduated since the program began in 2000. Several graduates have earned postgraduate degrees and PhDs from Toledo, Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins and more. Harvard University, to name a few.
Adjustment of student experience through cohort model, facilities and location
Students improve when they know what to expect. Many UP students are elderly and work to help a family or have other important time commitments. Providing a consistent schedule of classes allows them to plan ahead as they work to complete their degree. Toledo works with UP to provide class schedules in advance and, in combination with individual and distance learning, gives students flexibility as they go through the program. We work closely with UPRC locations to provide the same courses, laboratory experience, computer lab access, counseling and co-op opportunities so that students receive the same education as they do when they visit the Toledo main campus.
Scholarships and financial aid
Finally, one of the main transfer barriers for students is graduate degree financing. Many LCCC students experience sticker shock as they transition from a community college to a four-year school. Many are unsure how to do this without borrowing. LCCC and Toledo have collaborated on STEM Scholarship funding through Ohio’s Choose Ohio First Scholarship State for these students, providing scholarship dollars that allow students to complete the program.
The LCCC Foundation has provided a total of 7 2.7 million in scholarship assistance to these students since 2003. One student said in his scholarship letter, “In the future, they have the opportunity to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering at almost no cost. The whole thing was incredibly special. ”By providing funding for these students, they were able to stay local, concentrate on their studies without having multiple jobs, and stay connected to their group to complete the program.
In addition to providing scholarships, the overall structure of the route saves students more than $ 40,000 in costs compared to students joining Toledo for four years. Combined with scholarships and the ability to stay locally, the overall cost of the degree is greatly reduced, which eliminates financial barriers for many students.
Finally, the Toledo program is consistent with LCCC’s Earn and Learn model. Students in the program must complete three semesters of co-op with a local employer as part of their degree. Like students on the Toledo campus, LCCC partnership students complete a professional development course and receive co-op placement support from staff at the Toledo Shah Engineering Career Development Center. Many receive full-time job offers from their co-op employers after graduation. This gives students the opportunity to work in their chosen field and earn an income while pursuing their bachelor’s degree with Toledo, potentially further reducing the cost of attendance.
LCCC CSE students have been employed by many local companies such as Ridge Tool, LCCC, RW Beckett, Hyland, Sherwin-Williams, IBM and NASA Glenn and even companies such as the National Security Agency, Intel, the FDA, Expedia. , Hewlett-Packard, Disney and Google. Graduates are often offered a full-time job by their co-op company after graduation. It is well aligned with the LCCC’s goal of educating and retaining the talents of residents to help strengthen the local economy. In addition, the benefits of the partnership and the reduced costs of its presence, scholarships and co-operation enable many students to graduate with debt relief or bank payments!
By working together to provide clear, consistent and affordable options for LCCC students, this partnership provides a shining example of what is possible for transfer students. The Toledo Computer Science and Engineering Program is one of only nine programs in the country and one of two in Ohio. Students in the program express their gratitude for having access to a top CSE program that is close to home.
** Additional information on the partnership can be found at: https://www.lorainccc.edu/up/toledocse/