COLUMBIA —Today the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) hosted the 2023 South Carolina Transfer Excellence Convening, bringing together more than 100 higher education leaders and transfer experts from 42 institutions across the state to collaborate on ways to improve the effectiveness of transfer processes for South Carolina students.
Statistics show that more than a third of all college students transfer at least once, and that students who transfer lose an estimated 43 percent of their credits (13 credits on average), according to the National Student Clearinghouse. Lower-income students are also nearly half as likely as their higher-income peers to transfer to a four-year institution (25 percent versus 41 percent), and half as likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree within six years (11 percent versus 22 percent).
“South Carolina’s public institutions of higher education must commit to working together to ensure postsecondary education in our state is student-focused, of the highest quality, and both accessible and affordable,” said CHE President and Executive Director Dr. Rusty Monhollon. “To achieve our goals, we must nurture and cultivate the transfer process and the transfer landscape consistently and continuously. I feel like there’s a real desire to make transfer work for students.”
He added that the CHE is eager to work with institutions as partners to make South Carolina’s system of transfer the best in the nation. He also emphasized that that transfer must also focus on the needs of students.
“What I see right now is, unlike any time I’ve seen in the past 60 years of observing higher education, is that transfer is a priority,” said guest speaker Dr. John Gardner, co-founder of the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Excellence.
The convening is a follow-up to the February release of the 2023 South Carolina State Transfer and Articulation Action Plan, which was the result of collaborative efforts from more than 40 higher education experts from institutions and organizations across the state. The CHE partnered with the Gardner Institute and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) in 2021 to facilitate the task force, which has representation from all sectors of higher education: research institutions, four-year comprehensive teaching institutions, technical colleges and independent institutions.
The event included sessions on national promising transfer practices, a discussion on the six recommendations from the report, and what it will take to make South Carolina a national leader in transfer.
Members of the task force were also recognized as “Higher Education Champions” by the CHE for their collaborative efforts to develop the action plan and promote student success.
The CHE will continue to pursue transfer excellence as one of several long-term strategies to improve the state’s higher-education attainment rates.
The full transfer action plan, which includes with a detailed explanation and discussion of all recommendations, is available to view or download on the CHE transfer landing page at https://che.sc.gov/transfer.