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Academic Transfer Pathways & Guided Pathways to Success


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Carlos Santiago, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, presented the first half of this presentation on Academic Transfer pathways.

Dale Allen, Vice President for Community Engagement at Quinsigamond Community College and Phil Sisson, Provost/Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College presented the second half of this presentation on Guided Pathways to Success.

This was presented at the March 10, 2015 Board of Higher Education meeting.

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Academic Transfer Pathways & Guided Pathways to Success

  1. 1. AcademicTransfer Pathways & Guided Pathways to Success Board of Higher Education Meeting | March 10, 2015
  2. 2. CurrentTransfer Landscape Carlos Santiago, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
  3. 3. 3  General Education  34 credits plus 6 add’l elective credits  Associate’s Degree  20 add’l credits, in major (foundational) or as electives  Baccalaureate Major  36 credits  Baccalaureate Degree  All above + 24 minor, elective & add’l gen-ed credits = 120 creditsTOTAL CurrentTransfer Landscape The Building Blocks of an Academic Degree
  4. 4. 4 CurrentTransfer Landscape MassTransfer System-wide Policy System-wide Benefits Completing Gen-Ed Transfer Block Completing Associate’s Degree Eligible for MassTransfer 2.0+ GPA 2.0+ GPA 2.5+ GPA 3.0+ GPA Automatic satisfaction of most or all gen-ed requirements     Guaranteed transfer of credits     No application fee    No application essay    Guaranteed admission, space permitting   33% tuition waiver 
  5. 5. 5 o Statewide course-to-course equivalency database o “Common Course Numbering Project” or “MAST” o Statewide transfer pathways within majors for community college students o “AcademicTransfer Pathways” o Campus-level building blocks by major o “Guided Pathways to Success” CurrentTransfer Landscape In Progress: Filling the Gaps in MassTransfer
  6. 6. AcademicTransfer Pathways Carlos Santiago, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
  7. 7. 7  Most common transfer student within public system is one transferring from a community college to a state university or UMass campus  Currently ~50% of those transfer prior to earning 60 credits / associate’s degree  Massachusetts is behind the curve of other states in this area  Legislative language forVision Project Performance Incentive Fund has mandated work in this area  Transfer friendliness promotes college completion and supportsVision Project “BigThree” Strategy  Facilitating transfer benefits students, sending institutions and receiving institutions AcademicTransfer Pathways Reasons to Create AcademicTransfer Pathways
  8. 8. 8 AcademicTransfer Pathways AcademicTransfer Pathway Map 34 cred. • Gen-EdTransfer Block ~18 cred. • Foundational Courses for Major ~8 cred. • Electives & Add’l Courses = first 60 credits needed to fulfill freshman & sophomore requirements in major
  9. 9. 9  Identified foundational courses in six disciplines: Biology Chemistry Economics History Political Science Psychology AcademicTransfer Pathways First Phase Completed
  10. 10. 10 AcademicTransfer Pathways Demo: Web-Based Student Interface
  11. 11. 11 AcademicTransfer Pathways Demo: Web-Based Student Interface
  12. 12. 12 AcademicTransfer Pathways Based on System-wide Course Equivalency Agreements
  13. 13. 13  Complete AcademicTransfer Pathway Maps for first six disciplines—spring 2015  Reorganize MassTransfer website—summer 2015  Develop shared learning outcomes for mapped disciplines—beginning fall 2015 (long-term project)  Complete 10 more disciplines—AY2016  The 16 total disciplines will capture 70% of all transfer students, according to current data AcademicTransfer Pathways Next Steps
  14. 14. 14 o Business o Criminal Justice o Communication & Media Studies o Computer Science o Early Childhood Education o English (including developmental sequences) o Liberal Arts o Mathematics (including developmental sequences) o Sociology o STEM foundational degree AcademicTransfer Pathways Second Phase: AY2016
  15. 15. 15 For more information on the MassTransfer policy, go to For information on AcademicTransfer Pathways, go to
  16. 16. Guided Pathways to Success Dale Allen,Vice President for Community Engagement, QuinsigamondCommunity College Phil Sisson, Provost/Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, Middlesex Community College
  17. 17. GPS: Essential Components 1. Meta-Majors 2. Aligned Mathematics 3. DefaultAcademic Degree Maps 4. Milestone Courses 5. Structured Schedules 6. Proactive Advising DO THIS Guided Pathways to Success
  18. 18. 18 Higher graduation rates More on-time graduates Closing the achievement gap Fewer lost credits — saving time and money Guided Pathways to Success Results
  19. 19. 19  Since 2013  Bristol Community College  Cape Cod Community College  Fitchburg State University  Greenfield Community College  Middlesex Community College  MountWachusett Community College  North Shore Community College  QuinsigamondCommunity College  TAACCCT Round IV Grant  Scaled up to all 15 community colleges Guided Pathways to Success Participating Colleges
  20. 20. 20 Pathways to Achievement, Completion, Career &Transfer (PACCT) Guided Pathways to Success MCC’s PIF-Funded PACCT Work College-wide Change Maps created for all programs, Block schedules developed and implemented, Achievement Coaches hired, Meta-major design underway, Communications program redesigned using CCA principles, Professional Development offerings, 15 to finish and Register Early Campaign Kick-off STEM GPS Implement success strategies: Academic maps, Meta major(s), intrusive advising, math aligned to majors, default pathways, critical milestone courses DOL Round 4 Using CCA principles in Adv. Man., Biotech, Engineering and Eng. Tech, and IT/CS Curricular/Workforce Alignment Employ a Career Services team model to align internship opportunities to program outcomes and workplace skills Student Success / Achievement Gap Initiatives Achievement Coaches have identified cohorts who will receive tailored information and services
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  22. 22. 22 Physical Science
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  25. 25. Discussion
  26. 26. 26 For more information on Guided Pathways to Success, go to