The University of Illinois Springfield is making it easier for community college transfer students to complete their bachelor's degree through a partnership with the National Association of System Heads (NASH).
By applying NASH's improvement science model, UIS has completed three action cycles that focused on closing gaps in the transfer process to increase the two-year to four-year transfer rate and bachelor’s degree completions.
Some of the accomplishments achieved so far include reducing the gap between when transfer applicants are admitted and their initial advising appointments, developing clear articulation pathways for top feeder community colleges, and establishing advising hours on the community college campus. This allows students to have direct access to UIS staff throughout their transfer planning journey.
UIS has a positive track record when it comes to transferability, with 86% of transfer credits being applied toward degree competition. Two-thirds of the current UIS student population are transfer students who are eligible for merit-based and institutional scholarships.
“We’re committed to continuing this important work to support transfer students by ensuring they can easily transition to UIS,” said Vickie Cook, UIS vice chancellor for enrollment and retention management. “With ongoing partnerships and improvements,
UIS aims to provide a seamless and rewarding educational experience for transfer students.”
UIS is working closely with community college partners, such as Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield and Illinois Central College (ICC) in East Peoria. In 2022, new transfer agreements were signed with both colleges that guarantee students admission to UIS, provide a clear pathway for students to complete their bachelor’s degree and allow them to utilize reverse transfer credits to complete their associate degrees.
UIS Peoria Coordinator Angie Gin, who is based on the ICC campus, helps community college students make the transition to UIS.
“I have heard over and over again how easy the process was and there were even classes they did not think would transfer ended up transferring to UIS, creating an even bigger sense of welcome and fuels the hopes for continued opportunities at UIS,” she said.
Students transferring from any Illinois community college are guaranteed admission to UIS through the U of I System’s Transfer Guarantee if they meet certain requirements, such as enrolling only at an Illinois community college after graduating from an Illinois high school and maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 in all transferable coursework.
“This is only the beginning of our efforts to help transfer students make an easier transition to UIS,” Cook said. “UIS plans to continue to find new ways to support students on their journey to a bachelor’s degree and beyond.”