ACC joins new, national campaign to increase transfer rates for underserved populations

Austin Community College District (ACC) joins the Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) to help develop programs and pathways to increase transfer rates for African-American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners. 

National data show 80 percent of community college students enter a community college with the intent to transfer to a four-year university, but only 34 percent reach their goal. Transfer success rates are lower among black and Latinx students. 

ETI is a national campaign developed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU), and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to eliminate transfer hurdles. Together, the groups will provide ACC and other ETI partner institutions with personalized transfer coaching support.

“ETI will help ACC continue to close equity gaps. Nearly half of our students indicate they want to transfer after earning their associates degree. We need to ensure we are providing pathways that help them meet their goals,” says Dr. Charles Cook, ACC provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs. “Creating well-defined pathways eliminates excess credits taken by students and supports persistence toward a degree, a vital step in improving transfer rates and bachelor's degree completion in Texas.”

The program partners a community college and four-year institution. As the college’s largest transfer partner, ACC will work with Texas State University. 

This partnership will not only strengthen our relationship with Texas State; it will connect us with the 15 other partnerships/consortiums,” says Renee Esparza, ACC Transfer Resources director. “Together, we will develop best practices in transfer and find solutions that can impact all students — especially those who are historically underserved.”

ACC will identify and support up to 300 qualified students enrolled in target programs over the next two years. Key programs include: Education, Computer Science, Nursing, Business, and Engineering.

“I am delighted to see this project come to fruition,” says Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president/CEO. “As a part of AACC’s Unfinished Business initiative, it is vitally important for community colleges to close the equity and achievement gaps. The Equity Transfer Initiative is designed to focus on new and evidence-based equity strategies that will ensure the successful completion of degrees that lead to family-sustaining wages.”

As a participating college, ACC joins 36 other schools in 13 states invited to participate. ACC is the only community college in Texas recognized for the partnership.

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