University of Colorado Denver Joins National Equity Transfer Initiative

January 25, 2021

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recently selected the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) for the 2021 Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI). This initiative aims to increase transfer rates for African American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners through community college partnerships. 

The two-year ETI awards up to $27,500 to partnerships between community and four-year colleges to advance transfer pathways and increase completion rates for underrepresented student populations. CU Denver’s partnership is with Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and is the only selected partnership in Colorado.

“We have spent the last three years assessing and responding to transfer needs to provide the best cross-institutional experience for our transfer students,” said Emily Moroney, CU Denver’s executive director for transfer initiatives. “The ETI takes this one step further, strategically tailoring our services and programs to the specific, unique needs of transferring adult learners, low-income, first-generation, and diverse students.”

Through this partnership, CU Denver receives access to technical assistance from subject matter experts and can partake in convenings to teach and learn from other selected partnerships, bolstering transfer pathways. ETI participants will focus on strengthening student support services, such as culturally competent counseling, to ensure such interventions are effective.

“We know that transferring colleges isn’t always easy—there is a lot that goes into the process of getting from one college to the next,” said Moroney. “By better understanding the effect that transferring institutions has on student success, we can ensure CU Denver’s incoming students are able to navigate with confidence and ease.”

The seven transfer pathways include:

  • AS Computer Science/BA Computer Science
  • AA Public Health/BA Public Health
  • AA/AS Psychology/BA/BS Psychology
  • AA Business/BS Business Administration
  • AAS Architectural Studies/BS Architecture
  • AS Engineering/BS Engineering
  • AFA Studio Arts/BFA

CU Denver will also receive transfer coaching support including an assessment of its relationship with ACC to identify obstacles and develop response strategies. This assessment will be conducted through an equity lens, specifically identifying evidence-based strategies that allow students to matriculate without losing credits.

“As an African-American and first-generation college student, equity in transfer is personal for me,” said Angel M. Royal, AACC’s chief of staff. “I could have easily been a part of statistics that show the increasing equity gaps in transfer rates for underrepresented students. In order to address these barriers to success, we must face it head on and implement strategies like the ETI that allow colleges to reframe their transfer strategies and truly move the needle in the right direction.”

This initiative is funded by ECMC Foundation and Ascendium Education Group

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