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Six Tulsa-Area Higher Ed Institutions Working to Improve Transfer Process

University of Tulsa

Green Country higher education leaders are coming together to help students transition from community college to four-year schools.

Officials from Tulsa Community College, Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa, Northeastern State, Rogers State and Langston University met for the first time Friday for the Tulsa Transfer Project, a two-year process to improve the transfer process.

NSU Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Pamela Fly said their goal is to keep attracting transfer students and to make them successful.

"However they finish the associate’s, come to NSU, know the path that they need to do and know the course sequence that’s going to happen and support them in any ways. Know what resources we have to help them reach that four-year baccalaureate degree," Fly said.

The Tulsa Transfer Project aims to make the transfer process clearer and see fewer credits lost during it so more students finish their bachelor’s degrees.

In Oklahoma, just 15.5 percent of community college students end up earning a four-year degree, despite 43 percent transferring. Last year, 3,419 TCC students transferred, but according to that completion rate, just 530 will earn a four-year degree.

TCC President Leigh Goodson said the collaborative effort must continue past the two-year mark.

"Research changes a curriculum. So, as a specific subject like biology or chemistry evolves, that will change what’s being taught in the classroom," Goodson said.

Gardner Institute CEO John N. Gardner said the Tulsa Transfer Project ties into a stark need for greater overall academic achievement.

"Better than three-quarters of the jobs in the next 50 years are going to require some form of advanced high school credentialing. So, the consequences for the American economy, American national defense, health care — there are a whole set of consequences here that would suggest this is in the national interest," Gardner said.

The six institutions will draw on the Gardner Institute's Foundations of Excellence Transfer model during the project. The work is sponsored locally by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.