KCTCS and John N. Gardner Institute Team Up to Transform Transfer, Enhance Student Success and Advance Commonwealth Education Goals

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The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is pleased to announce that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has elected to use the Institute’s signature Foundations of Excellence® process to evaluate and improve rates of successful two-to-four-year transfer at all sixteen institutions that comprise the KCTCS system. Since 2003, the not-for-profit Gardner Institute has worked with nearly 240 colleges and universities – including more than 110 community colleges – to conduct the Foundations of Excellence self-study and action-planning process.

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“The Foundations of Excellence planning work will help advance both the Kentucky Community and Technical College Systems’ strategic “Transfer Transformation” plan and the Commonwealth’s overall higher education policy agenda,” Dr. Michael McCall,

Kentucky Community and Technical College System and John N. Gardner Institute Team Up to Transform Transfer, Enhance Student Success, and Advance Commonwealth Education Goals

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is pleased to announce that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has elected to use the Institute’s signature Foundations of Excellence® process to evaluate and improve rates of successful two-to-four-year transfer at all sixteen institutions that comprise the KCTCS system. Since 2003, the not-for-profit Gardner Institute has worked with nearly 240 colleges and universities – including more than 110 community colleges – to conduct the Foundations of Excellence self-study and action-planning process.

During the 2011-12 academic year, Ashland, Big Sandy, Blue Grass, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Gateway, Hazard, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Jefferson, Madisonville, Maysville, Owensboro, Somerset, Southeast Kentucky, and West Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges will work with the Gardner Institute to examine institutional performance in encouraging and supporting students who plan to transfer from a KCTCS institution to a four-year institution to continue their studies. These efforts will yield institution-specific action plans that the Colleges will respectively implement to improve rates of transfer and the success of KCTCS transfer students at receiving four-year institutions during the three-to-five years that follow.

“The transfer experience is an under-analyzed and under-addressed college transition point,” said John N. Gardner, the Institute’s President. “During my near four decades of work with student transition, I have seen thousands of institutions implement all kinds of programs to help first-year students, but very few have given the same attention to transfer student success – and even fewer have a strategic plan that guides the limited efforts that do exist.”

“The lack of plans that help students successfully transfer means that institutions, by-in-large, are not serving potential transfers in an excellent manner,” continued Gardner. “As a byproduct, the institutions are failing the students, the communities, and the nation of which they are a part.”

“National studies show that large numbers of community college students intend to transfer and earn a baccalaureate degree, but the rate at which they actually do so is comparatively and unacceptably low” added Andrew Koch, the Gardner Institute’s Executive Vice President. “Much of this underperformance has to do with the lack of attention that the sending and receiving institutions give to their transfer students. The Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges are taking a bold and laudable step to rectify this issue.”

“The Foundations of Excellence planning work will help advance both the Kentucky Community and Technical College Systems’ strategic “Transfer Transformation” plan and the Commonwealth’s overall higher education policy agenda,” commented Dr. Michael McCall, President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. “As evidenced when Governor Beshear signed House Bill 160 into law, the Kentucky Legislature and Governor’s office have set ambitious goals for student success, and the Foundations of Excellence work that the sixteen KCTCS colleges are undertaking is all about helping the Commonwealth realize these goals. We will use this work to help KCTCS transform transfer.”

Educators from the sixteen Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges participating in the Foundations of Excellence process will come together for a launch meeting at the KCTCS system office in Versailles, Kentucky on September 20-21, 2011.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Andrew K. Koch                    
Executive Vice President                
John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence         
in Undergraduate Education            
koch(at)jngi(dot)org / 765-838-8025            

Dr. Nicole McDonald
Director for Transfer
Kentucky Community and Technical College System
nicole.mcdonald(at)kctcs(dot)edu / 859-256-3389

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For most Kentuckians, higher education begins at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Our statewide system of 16 colleges, 68 campuses and more than 106,000 students is a critical component to transforming the state’s economy by providing citizens with the education and training needed for high growth, high wage careers. For more information, visit kctcs.edu.

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