Tackling Transfer: A Guide to Convening Community Colleges and Universities to Improve Transfer Student Outcomes

Deane, K. C.; Fink, John; Gordon, Madison; Jenkins, Paul Davis; Kadlec, Alison; Wyner, Joshua

Research shows that very few community college students, many of whom seek a bachelor’s degree, successfully transfer to and graduate from a four-year institution. In fact, only 15 percent of all community college students complete a four-year degree in less than six years. The numbers are far more daunting for Black, Hispanic, and low-income students—all of whom enroll in community colleges at disproportionately high numbers.

In an effort to improve transfer student success, the Aspen Institute, CCRC, Public Agenda, and SOVA have released this implementation guide designed to help state entities organize workshops within which teams from two- and four-year institutions work together to improve transfer and graduation outcomes for their students. Through data analysis and self-reflection of institutional practices, these workshops help institutions develop action plans (individually and among partners) to improve transfer student success.

This guide is accompanied by a number of additional resources (see below), including the CCRC’s How to Measure Community College Effectiveness in Serving Transfer Students. The guide was created as part of the larger Tackling Transfer project and serves as a complement to the 2016 Transfer Playbook.


  • thumnail for state-policy-discussion-guide.pdf state-policy-discussion-guide.pdf application/pdf 247 KB Download File
  • thumnail for transfer-workshop-action-plan-template.pdf transfer-workshop-action-plan-template.pdf application/pdf 164 KB Download File
  • thumnail for sample-facilitators-slides.pdf sample-facilitators-slides.pdf application/pdf 1.49 MB Download File
  • thumnail for sample-facilitators-agenda.pdf sample-facilitators-agenda.pdf application/pdf 141 KB Download File
  • thumnail for planning-conducting-transfer-student-focus-groups-guide.pdf planning-conducting-transfer-student-focus-groups-guide.pdf application/pdf 155 KB Download File
  • thumnail for two-year-self-assessment-tool.pdf two-year-self-assessment-tool.pdf application/pdf 348 KB Download File
  • thumnail for four-year-self-assessment-tool.pdf four-year-self-assessment-tool.pdf application/pdf 326 KB Download File
  • thumnail for tackling-transfer-guide-convening-community-colleges-universities-improve-transfer-student-outcomes.pdf tackling-transfer-guide-convening-community-colleges-universities-improve-transfer-student-outcomes.pdf application/pdf 39.3 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
December 18, 2017


See also "How to Measure Community College Effectiveness in Serving Transfer Students" at