Council of Presidents Praises New PASSHE Transfer Policy

At their recent annual retreat, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) Council of Presidents reviewed and applauded a new transfer policy which was adopted by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors in July 2021.

Under the revised policy, students transferring to PASSHE with an associate degree from a Pennsylvania community college are now guaranteed admission at a PASSHE University and can transfer into a parallel program with full junior standing. The policy still allows for program-specific transfer agreements, which further benefit students and streamline degree attainment. The new policy will go into effect no later than Spring 2022.

“We are thrilled that many longstanding gaps in the Commonwealth’s public-to-public transfer approach are addressed in the new policy,” said Dr. Mark Erickson, PACCC Chair and President of Northampton Community College. “Last fall, approximately 6,900 students who attended a Pennsylvania community college enrolled in a PASSHE university. We believe that improvements made to the state’s policy will help grow those numbers in the future and make PASSHE institutions a destination of choice for our graduates.”

Community colleges are proud to serve as a pipeline for well-prepared students seeking a bachelor’s degree or beyond. These graduates are typically highly motivated, high achieving and contribute to the social and cultural diversity of the institutions they attend. By attending a Pennsylvania community college for the first two years, these students also save an estimated $20,000 on the cost of higher education.

In 2014, community colleges and their partners at PASSHE recognized the need to improve public-to-public transfer and, following a meeting of presidents and academic officers, established a joint transfer work group. This group, which met consistently through 2018, was tasked with identifying solutions to the barriers students face when transferring from community college to PASSHE Universities.

“Implementation of the new transfer policy is the culmination of work that began with PASSHE seven years ago. The policy is simple, easily understood and directly benefits community college graduates, allowing them to seamlessly transfer to any PASSHE university,” Dr. Erickson said. “We are grateful to the PASSHE Board of Governors for adopting the policy and applaud their efforts to streamline the process for students who want to transfer from community colleges to PASSHE universities.”