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Increasing Awareness, Opportunity, & Success for Community College Transfer Students at Selective Research Universities University of Michigan, Ann Arbor NISTS Conference, January 26, 2011. Michigan – A Paradigm Shift.

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Increasing Awareness, Opportunity, & Success for Community College Transfer Students at Selective Research Universities

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • NISTS Conference, January 26, 2011
michigan a paradigm shift

Michigan – A Paradigm Shift

Greater campus-wide awareness of the talents of community college transfers

Improved relationships with community colleges

Part of the overall expansion of the institutional commitment to broad diversity, including socioeconomic diversity

Represents, in part, Michigan’s response to the 2003 Supreme Court landmark decision on affirmative action and the response to the 2006 anti-affirmative action ban in the state.

Building on the work of the original community college partnership called M-TIES – a single institution initiative.

jack kent cooke foundation community college outreach initiative
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Community College Outreach Initiative
  • Begun in 2006: $1M + $1M cost share; 4 yrs
  • Involved eight selective institutions:
      • U-M: Increase awareness among all 31 CC’s
      • UC-Berkeley
      • UNC-Chapel Hill
      • Cornell
      • Bucknell
      • Amherst
      • Holy Cross
      • USC

The Number of Community College Transfers Is Very Small at Selective Colleges

  • Typically, 1% or less of an entering class at private colleges and universities and 8% at public universities.
  • Only 11,000 community college transfers admitted toprivate and public colleges each year… it appears fewer than 1,000 are low-income students.
  • Percentage of low-income community college transfer students at selective institutions has declined from 10.5% in 1984 to 5.7% in 2002.

Source: Community Colleges as Gateways and Gatekeepers:

Moving Beyond the Access ‘Saga’ Toward Outcome Equity. Alicia Dowd.

2007 Harvard Educational Review Vol. 7 No. 3


New Web Portal for Prospective Community College Transfer Students –

New Community College SCHOLARSHIPS(Begun Fall 2007, in addition to full packaging commitment, in-state)
  • Community College Scholarship

- 3.5 GPA with 30 credits hours completed at the community college

- $1,500 non-renewable

  • Community College Scholar Award

- Honor society, volunteer or community service activities

- 3.8 GPA with 30 credits hours completed at community college

- $5,000 renewable

  • Child Care Subsidy Awarded

- One child, the award maximum is $2,015 per term.

- Two children, the award maximum is $3,020 per term.

- Three or more children, the award maximum is $4,030 per term.


U-M Travel Teams have visited 29 of the 31 community colleges in Michigan to meet with faculty, administrators and students. Here is an example of a multi-college meeting at one rural upstate community college that drew staff from 9 regional colleges.

victoria s college credentials
Victoria’s College Credentials
  • Attended Highland Community College for 1 year
  • 3.2 GPA
  • 35 transferable credits
  • Academic interest: Aerospace Engineering
  • Interests are Marching Band and sports
    • Works well with students and faculty
    • Member of the Solar Car Project Team
    • Conducts research with Space Exploratory department

Thinking of Transferring...

  • ... to the University of Michigan?
  • Transfer Days Coming to your Area
  • The University of Michigan is taking its "Transfer Days" programs on the road! Sessions will include:
  • Admissions Road Map
  • Paving your way to a University of Michigan Degree
  • Fueling your Mind
jack kent cooke fellowship program for community college students
Jack Kent Cooke Fellowship Program for Community College Students
  • Funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
  • Research as transition to University setting
  • Michigan Community Colleges
    • Admitted Transfers
    • Prospective
    • Uncommitted
  • Summer 2009: 36 Apps/17 Admitted
  • Summer 2010: 51 Apps/19 Admitted
2010 program components
2010 Program Components
  • 20-40 hrs/wk for 10-12 weeks during summer with UM faculty member
  • Stipend covers housing & food
  • Biweekly seminars:
        • Admissions
        • UM Culture
        • Financial aid
        • Role of research
        • Time management
        • Skill Building Workshops: library & web research; EndNote; SPSS database; GIS; Matlab; OSEH Safety
examples of research projects
Examples of Research Projects

Understanding The Star-Spangled Banner (Humanities)

Test Methods for Characterization of Asphatene Precipitation (Chemical Engineering)

Gene Therapy Development Using Transgenic Mouse Models (Medical School)

Parameter Space Analysis of Particle Physics Models Derived from String Theory (Physics)

Institutional Policies Determining Educational Access for Undocumented Students (Higher Education)

Pilot Study of Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy for Combat-related PTSD (Clinical Research)


Faculty Quotes:

  • "Kayla exceeded my expectations. She took initiative in her research, finding both people to interview or to help her, and a variety of resources to pursue. She was patient and persistent. She kept careful records of her sources and was able to fulfill every writing and organizational assignment I gave her. She accepted feedback well... Kayla did a great job getting our project started, and laying the groundwork for the next research assistant.“
  • "Austin came in with some specific skills (microcontroller programming) that we were in great need of. He was able to figure many things out on his own and produced usable output with minimal guidance. Over time, I came to trust him more than any other student (including my grad students) when it comes to directly working with hardware."
  • "In only a few weeks Akshay doubled the size and depth of my database on ancient and modern views of ancient Africa by reading books I had read and assigned him to summarize. Akshay also showed initiative in selecting additional materials, mostly books, some of which I had not heard about, but also articles from newspapers, websites, etc., and producing summaries of those as well. Akshay and I began collecting all these summaries into a chapter draft, which will be instrumental insecuring my book a contract with a major press...
s ummer n avigation o rientation p rogram office of new student programs
Summer Navigation Orientation ProgramOffice of New Student Programs
  • A 2-day orientation program for selected community college transfer students – based on financial need and including:
  • familiarization with campus facilities, key resources and people
  • select and register for fall (or winter) classes
  • meet other CC transfer students and current U-M students who transferred (e.g., transfer student panelists)
  • meet academic advisors and develop academic plan to graduation
  • Transfer Connections(peer mentors) – provides first semester support – See Phil Larson presentation!

New Community College Outreach Initiative at College of Engineering

  • Increase awareness and interest in the field of engineering at selected community colleges
  • Enhance the preparation of students for engineering/STEM B.S.E. degree programs through a variety of efforts that are customized to the needs of schools
  • Facilitate collaboration among partner schools and U-M faculty, staff, students, and alumni to optimize opportunities and impact

EM-PULSE Community College Partners

  • Henry Ford Community College
  • Jackson Community College
  • Oakland Community College (Auburn Hills)
  • Schoolcraft Community College
  • Washtenaw Community College
new nsf funded phase ii partnership with nine community colleges 2010 2015
New NSF-Funded Phase II Partnership With Nine Community Colleges(2010 – 2015)
  • Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
  • College of Engineering
  • President Mary Sue Coleman, PI; Professor Levi Thompson, PD
  • Mission: Double number of URM graduates in STEM
U-M Units Involved in Community College OutreachT = Travel Recruitment Team * = Full of Partial FTE Committed

UROP* (Undergrad Research)

CEW* (T)

Army ROTC* (T)

Taubman School of A & UP* (T)


  • OUA (Admissions) (T)*
  • OFA (Finaid) (T)*
  • LSA (T)*
  • CoE (T)*
  • Kinesiology (T)*
  • Nursing (T)*
  • Dental Hygiene Program*
  • OAMI: M-PODS/Research*
  • ONSP – Orientation*
some numbers
Some Numbers

★Increases in applications from largest, closest colleges. Stasis for smaller, distant colleges. Why?

jackson community college typical michigan comm college

Jackson Community College – Typical Michigan Comm. College

7,000 Student Enrollment, Majority “Pell – El”

65% entering students place into Pre-Algebra

Less than 10% are Pre-Calc (College) Ready

68% pass out of Developmental math into Algebra (credit not counted toward degree

55% pass out of Algebra I

Achieving the Dream: Lumina/Kellogg funded, 6 commcolls, focused on low-income success

17 Students transferred to U-M in Fall 2009

Undermatching(Bowen/Crossing the Finish Line 2010),Talent Loss, Cultural Capital, Stratification, College Knowledge

Theories underline discrepancies – Jonathan Kozol’s“Savage Inequalities” – in K-12 preparation, college attendance and achievement for high-ability students from different socioeconomic & racial/ethnic backgrounds

missing high achievers
Missing High Achievers
  • Only 39% of high achieving (1200 + SAT) lower income students applied to selective colleges, despite higher financial aid packages available. SIMILAR OR GREATER DYNAMIC AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES.
  • Selective College “Wage Premium”
    • More likely to graduate
    • More likely to be employed
    • More likely to have higher earnings

Source: Economist Describes Missing Pool of Low-Income College Applicants. David Glenn. Chronicle of Higher Education. January 5, 2009

not just about transfers
Not Just About Transfers
  • Only 4 Apps in 2009 from these 8 High Schools in northwestern lower Michigan

Study Methodology


- Deployed April 2008

- 425 / 702 = 61% response rate

- $15 food voucher

- Aggressive follow-up strategy

Focus Groups

- Convened July & August 2008

- Six mixed gender groups

- 45 participants

- $25 food voucher

who are these students
Who are these students?
  • Gender: 48% Male; 52% Female
  • Age: 64% (18-24); 20% (25 - 29); 16% (30+)
  • Race: 80% White; 11% Asian American; 9% Other SOC
  • Maritalstatus: 80% single
  • Children: 88% reported “None”
  • Class standing: 10% Sophomore; 43% Junior; 47% Senior
  • Enrollment status: 85% full time
  • First in family to attend four year: 71% reported “No”
  • Planned to attend four year: 87% reported “Yes”

Focus group thematic areas

(300 single-spaced transcribed pages)

  • 1) Reasons for initially choosing a community college
  • 2) Reasons for choosing the U-M
  • 3) Issues with the transfer process
  • 4) Academic issues
  • 5) Social issues
  • 6) Work/life/school balance issues as a transfer student
  • 7) Things the U-M can do to enhance the transfer student experience
  • 8) Dealing with the bigness/complexity of the U-M
  • 9) Advice to future transfer students
  • 10) Choosing Michigan if you had to do it all over again

Jack Kent Cooke Recommendations

  • 1. Expand academic support services
  • 2. Lengthen the community college transfer orientation process
  • 3. Establish a community college transfer ambassador program
  • 4. Establish transfer student/commuter student “docking sites”
  • 5. Enhance social opportunities for transfer students
  • 6. Continue research and assessment on community college transfers
  • 7. Targeting community college students
  • 8. Improved information about transferability of classes
  • 9. Improved financial aid information
  • 10. Academic and administrative leadership
question and answer session

Question and answer session

Now it’s your turn!


contacting the presenters katrina wade golden wlms@umich edu dilip das dadas@umich edu

Contacting the presenters:Katrina Wade-Golden ( Das(

For more information on the Michigan Student Study:

University of Michigan Community College Web Portal: