Lengthy earlier than COVID-19 introduced chaos to greater training, neighborhood school college students hoping to finally earn a bachelor’s diploma have been routinely undermined by insurance policies and practices that hampered switch pupil success. Our nation’s poor and deeply inequitable completion charges for switch college students are effectively documented, and, regardless of the efforts of many leaders and practitioners, the burden traditionally has been positioned on college students for navigating difficult techniques slightly than on establishments for reforming techniques to work higher for switch college students.
Lately, that has begun to vary, however too usually efforts to enhance switch pupil success have been disjointed and siloed, slightly than working on the core of our establishments and better training system. Consequently — nonetheless at the moment — solely 14 % of degree-seeking college students who begin at a neighborhood school earn a bachelor’s diploma inside six years, even though 80 % begin out saying they plan to take action. Lower than a 3rd even handle to switch to a four-year establishment. And switch outcomes are a lot worse for lower-income college students and college students from persistently minoritized communities, an particularly alarming truth on condition that these college students usually tend to begin their training at a neighborhood school.
We might go on concerning the numbers, however suffice it to say that — regardless of countless admiration of the issues dealing with switch college students and honest effort amongst many practitioners and leaders — we proceed to fail these college students in large numbers. That’s devastating for these people, and it hinders our nation’s capability to construct a wholesome center class now and into the longer term. COVID-19 has solely made this example extra dire.
About Tackling Switch
Tackling Switch is a nationwide undertaking targeted on fostering the situations for scalable and measurable enhancements in bachelor’s diploma attainment charges for college students who start at neighborhood school, with the objective of attaining larger fairness for college students from low-income households and persistently marginalized or minoritized communities of coloration. Tackling Switch is led by three organizations — the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Excellence Program, HCM Strategists and Sova — and contains targeted work in choose states, in addition to nationwide work geared toward reducing obstacles to switch pupil success. Tackling Switch is made doable by the dedication and help of Ascendium Schooling Philanthropy, ECMC Basis, the Joyce Basis and the Kresge Basis.
However this second additionally presents a brand new form of hope — a hope that, as COVID-19 endlessly adjustments the panorama of upper training in still-unknown methods, we’re offered with a brand new set of alternatives for daring enchancment that ranges the enjoying area for neighborhood school college students who hope to earn at the very least a four-year diploma.
Within the coming weeks and months, we intend to make use of this weblog to raise these alternatives. Final summer time Doug Lederman reached out to debate a survey Inside Greater Ed had commissioned to discover the attitudes of directors concerned in switch coverage and apply at faculties and universities. In the midst of these conversations, we explored alternatives for seizing the second supplied by COVID-19 to speed up and enhance work round switch pupil success.
Throughout the fall, the Tackling Switch companions collaborated with Inside Greater Ed to create a three-part webinar sequence, titled “Can We Lastly Repair Switch,” that elevated the voices of practitioners and advocates engaged on switch across the nation. Following that webinar sequence, we have been invited to proceed the partnership with Inside Greater Ed by an everyday weblog curated by the Tackling Switch group. We’re grateful for this venue and delighted to affix the esteemed ranks of Inside Greater Ed’s bloggers.
We now have two objectives in thoughts with this weblog: first, we need to elevate the profile of labor underway across the nation to dramatically enhance outcomes for switch college students as establishments navigate towards a still-unknown “subsequent regular.” Second, we need to share classes realized and instruments being created by the Tackling Switch partnership that establishments and techniques can use to speed up the tempo of change and enhance the standard of labor geared toward reducing obstacles to equitable switch pupil success.
The work of the Tackling Switch partnership relies on the conviction that significant — and meaningfully equitable — enhancements in outcomes for switch college students entail clear-eyed and complete consideration to coverage, apply, management, communications and tradition. This weblog will mirror that conviction by overlaying a variety of matters that talk to points throughout these dimensions of change. We’ll draw on the work of the associate organizations, the newest insights of main researchers, the on-the-ground efforts of the leaders concerned within the Tackling Switch Coverage Advisory Board and the candid reflections of practitioners working tirelessly to revamp insurance policies and practices at scale. We invite readers to affix us on this endeavor by sharing your personal insights, tales, successes and challenges as you go concerning the work of enhancing outcomes for switch college students.
Collectively, we are able to seize the present alternative for transformation — and basically change the percentages for thousands and thousands of neighborhood school switch college students.