Lehman Hosts Summit to Discuss Easing the Way for Transfer Students

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Lehman Hosts Summit to Discuss Easing the Way for Transfer Students
Lehman Hosts Summit to Discuss Easing the Way for Transfer Students

Students transferring from community colleges to a senior college frequently run into challenges that first-time freshman college students don’t typically face, so a group of schools has partnered up to help make the path smoother for transfer students.

Lehman College was host to the Bronx Transfer Affinity Group (BTAG) summit on Friday, March 22. The event brought together transfer advisers, counselors, and senior administrators from three community colleges, Hostos, Bronx, and Guttman, working with Lehman to address what is called the "leaky transfer pipeline."

In recognition of their efforts, Deputy Bronx Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden presented proclamations to each of the four college presidents.

In addition to breakout sessions on specific issues, the summit also featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Alexandra W. Logue, a behavioral scientist and research professor at the Center for Advanced Study in Education at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Logue is investigating the conditions that impede the success of students making the leap from community college to senior college through two research projects on transfer students at CUNY.

"87 percent of entering community college students state their ultimate education goal is a bachelor’s degree or higher," said Logue. "But six years after entry, only 11 percent of CUNY community college students have obtained a bachelor’s [degree]."

The transfer pipeline can be fraught with obstacles that first-time freshmen college students don’t encounter, from problems with transfer of credits, to financial aid complications, to the "transfer shock" of moving to a new community and campus environment.

The majority of students currently enrolled at Lehman transferred from another institution; most Lehman transfer students come from one of the seven CUNY community colleges. This year, 87 percent of Lehman students began their college career at another institution.

That’s up from fall 2017, where among newly-enrolled undergraduate students, only 939 were first-time, full-time freshmen and 2,158—70 percent of the incoming class—were transfers. It’s a trend that holds across CUNY; most of the undergraduates you will see on any senior CUNY campus are transfer students.

The BTAG summit marked the first time that advising staff from all member colleges met to discuss the particular challenges of transfer students, as well as the best administrative and advisement practices to promote their success, from community college admission through senior college graduation. The schools plan to continue to work together to address these challenges.