ESU Named Among Top 40 Colleges and Universities for Community College Transfer Programs
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania is among the top 40 colleges and universities nationwide being recognized by Phi Theta Kappa as an inaugural member of the Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll, which identifies the top four-year colleges and universities for creating dynamic pathways to support community college transfer. Other institutions joining ESU in this honor include: Ohio State University, Iowa State University, University of Arizona and University of Kansas. Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees, comprised of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.
“This is great news for our institution and confirms what we already know – that East Stroudsburg University is committed to developing collaborative partnerships with community colleges in order develop program–to-program and dual admission agreements that students want and need,” said President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D. “We take great pride in our transfer programs and know that they work for our students. I applaud our admissions team and those who work to initiate transfer articulation agreements for the great work they do to ensure that a student’s transition to ESU is efficient and convenient. We are also extremely fortunate to have partnered with some excellent community colleges that are equally inspired to make students successful.”
Applications were judged based engagement, collaboration, impact and achievements related to the transfer of community college students as well as partnerships, support, admissions outreach, scholarships/financial aid, student engagement opportunities and institutional priorities.
The 40 colleges and universities are being honored by Phi Theta Kappa for their exemplary programs, initiatives, and benefits for community college transfers. The institutions will be acknowledged with the “Transfer Honor Roll” designation on Phi Theta Kappa’s online transfer support platform, CollegeFish.org and special recognition at Phi Theta Kappa’s 2016 annual convention in National Harbor, Md., April 7-9. Phi Theta Kappa will also be releasing a study regarding transfer success based on the information provided in Honor Roll applications.
“We have partnered with eight community colleges to implement reverse transfer agreements that allow former community college students to transfer ESU coursework to complete their associates degree requirements and receive their degree,” David Bousquet, vice president of enrollment management at ESU, said. At East Stroudsburg University, more than 73% of the 901 transfer students transferred from a community college. ESU’s 67 articulation agreements with 13 community college partners in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey reflect the university’s longstanding and growing commitment to serving transfer students.
Director of Scholarship Operations Christin Grissom said the new recognition program reflects the growing importance of transfer in helping the U.S. achieve its college completion goals and will promote further study and sharing of best practices.
“Increasingly, students of all ages and achievement levels are choosing the community college, not only as their first step, but also their first choice, in the pursuit of a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree,” Grissom said. “With this designation, we hope to connect community college students with institutions who value their unique transfer experience and prioritize their success.”
Grissom added that colleges and universities that provide high-quality transfer programs benefit from the rich perspective and diversity community college students bring to the student body. “These students are scholars, leaders, global citizens, often with higher grade point averages than students who started at the university,” she said.
According to Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, 92% of Phi Theta Kappa members complete an associates degree or transfer.
“With a 92% student success rate, Phi Theta Kappa members have a proven track record of success. Our members transfer at a much higher rate (72%) than the traditional community college student (29%),” Tincher-Ladner said. “In order to ensure their continued success, the Transfer Honor Roll Program identifies colleges and universities that understand the unique needs of community college transfer students and applauds the dynamic pathways these colleges have created to continue fostering student success at the four-year college.”
For more information about ESU’s transfer programs, contact the office of admissions at (570) 422-3542 or visit esu.edu/admissions. To view the list of Phi Theta Kappa honorees for Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll, visit www.ptk.org.