The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report revealing trends in postsecondary credit transfer for students entering into higher education for the first time in the 2003-2004 academic year. The analysis suggests that students who follow traditional transfer pathways (2-year to 4-year) typically transfer credits successfully.
Selected findings from this report include the following:
· About one-third (35 percent) of first-time beginning undergraduate students transferred or coenrolled at least once during the 6-year period of the BPS study. Approximately 21 percent transferred/coenrolled once, and another 11 percent transferred/coenrolled more than once.2 The remaining two-thirds (65 percent) did not transfer or coenroll.
· Most transfers or coenrollments (56 percent) originated from public 2-year institutions. Because a transfer can be defined by either the movement of students or the movement of credits from one institution to another institution, this report used two measures to better characterize transfers: (1) opportunity for credit transfer, a student-focused measure, and (2) actual credit transfers, a credit-focused measure. Public 2-year institutions yielded approximately 1.4 million of the 2.6 million opportunities for credit transfer and 19.1 million of the 30.0 million credits transferred.
· Nearly 90 percent of all student credit transfer opportunities occurred between institutions that were regionally, rather than nationally, accredited.
· A multivariate analysis of actual credit transfer indicated that, after taking into account other student and institutional factors:
o a student’s GPA prior to a transfer was related positively to the number of credits accepted at the destination institution;
o student transfer/coenrollment pathways were related to credit transfer, specifically when compared to students transferring from 2-year to 4-year institutions (i.e., vertical transfer):
§ transferring from 4-year to 2-year institutions (i.e., reverse transfer) was related negatively to the number of credits accepted following transfer; and
§ transferring from 2-year to 2-year institutions or 4-year to 4-year institutions (i.e., horizontal transfer) was related negatively to the number of credits accepted following transfer.
· Institutional control was related to the number of credits transferred, with students moving to private for-profit and private nonprofit institutions transferring fewer credits than students moving to public institutions.
· Accreditation status was unrelated to the number of credits transferred between institutions.