Transfer Playbook & Tracking Transfer

The Transfer Playbook, published by Aspen and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) in 2016, is based on original research into the practices of six highly effective community college-university partnerships, describes how institutions can improve transfer student outcomes through three core strategies: prioritizing transfer, creating clear transfer program maps, and establishing dedicated transfer advising. The report provides concrete examples of essential strategies and a checklist for getting started.
Tracking Transfer was also published in 2016. This research report complements the Playbook with a comprehensive set of five measures to track which institutions effectively serve transfer students and which states have a robust transfer pipeline from community colleges to four-year schools. Using this common set of metrics, the report examines the average outcomes for students who first started college at two-year institutions by a variety of institutional characteristics including geography, student socioeconomic status, and selectivity (at four-year institutions).

Introducing The Next Phase of Transfer

In the fall of 2022, Aspen & CCRC embarked on a new project to deliver the “second edition” of the Transfer Playbook, made possible by improvements in national data collection. With new data from the National Student Clearinghouse, our teams will now be able to identify the colleges that are not only delivering excellent transfer outcomes, but doing so equitably for all students. We will also publish an updated version of Tracking Transfer with new, national and state-level measures of effectiveness disaggregated by race/ethnicity and income.
As a part of these projects, we’re excited to work specifically in North Carolina (in collaboration with the North Carolina State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership) and California to advance stronger and more equitable transfer outcomes. See here for the overview of the two projects and stay tuned for more updates as we prepare to release both publications in 2024.
As we identify the colleges delivering excellent and equitable transfer outcomes nationwide, we want to hear from you now about how you’re expanding the transfer pipeline for more students. What programs, initiatives, or commitments have you implemented to transform the trajectories of community college transfers? Share them with us today!

Additional Resources

Community College
Self-Assessment Tool

Self-Assessment Tool

Our work on transfer is made possible by generous support from
Ascendium, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, John M. Belk Endowment, Joyce Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.

Contact us for more information.
Tania Nguyen LaViolet, Director