Executive Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE: Florida’s “2+2 Pathways to Success Program” earns national nod
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2011
Florida’s “2+2 Pathways to Success Program” earns national nod
University of Central Florida featured in national study from The College Board, is largest transfer institution in State University System of Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—A national report released from one of the top entities involved in tracking trends and results in higher education – The College Board – has highlighted the success of Florida’s “2+2 Pathways to Success program” in a discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing four-year colleges as they work to create more efficient pathways for transfer students.
The report – featuring 12 four-year institutions across the United States – specifically cites the University of Central Florida, while acknowledging that many institutions in the State University System of Florida have successful, growing transfer student programs.
UCF has the most two-year degree transfers amid the 11 institutions in the State University System of Florida, is the largest institution in the State University System, and is the second-largest public university in the nation based on student enrollment at more than 50,000.
The College Board report also examines best practices that universities and colleges can adopt to serve growing numbers of transfer students nationwide.
Nationally, there is a movement to drive up the number of Americans earning four-year degrees in order for the United States to regain the status it once had as one of the top countries where citizens have postsecondary education and college degrees, a ranking that has been falling steadily in recent years.
An international comparison in 2007 of the percentage of adults ages 25-34 with at least a bachelor’s-type postsecondary degree showed the United States ranked 7th with about 30 percent of its population in that category – far behind Norway, the Netherlands, Korea and others.
Further, when reviewing bachelor’s degrees awarded for every 1,000 citizens ages 18-44 in 2008, Florida ranked 41st of 50 states – Florida had 12.3 for every 1,000 citizens, while the national average at the time was 14.2 per 1,000 citizens.
(These and other informational slides were presented by the Strategic Planning Committee at the full Board of Governors meeting in March 2011:http://www.flbog.edu/documents_meetings/0124_0517_4071_2011_03_24_Strategic%20Planning_WebVersion.pdf).
This vexing issue of supply and demand has, in fact, been one of the driving points of discussion during ongoing conversation at the both Board of Governors and in its Strategic Planning Committee. Currently noticed Board regulations being amended are designed to help organize the State University System in preparation for future growth in the System. The current Strategic Plan of the Board of Governors covers 2005-2013; an updated planning process has been under way for more than a year in order to have strategic plan segments identified this year that can take the State University System toward 2020 and beyond.
One of the likely growth areas is the “2+2 Pathways to Success” program, and the statewide articulation agreement that provides the opportunity for any student who completes a two-year associate’s degree at a community or state college in the Florida College System to be admitted to one of 11 institutions in the State University System.
All told, the State University System of Florida enrolled more than 40,000 new transfer students in 2010-11 alone. More than 30,000 – or about 75 percent – of those transferred as a result of the popular “2+2 Pathways to Success” statewide partnership. At last count, the official total student enrollment at all levels for the State University System is 321,503.
At UCF in the fall of 2010, nearly 5,600 of 5,900 new transfer students were admitted through the 2+2 program – nearly 95 percent.
The College Board report highlights how well the program at UCF and all institutions in the State University System prepare transfer students for upper-division university courses and campus life.
The 2+2 Pathways to Success partnership in our State University System was one of the first in the nation and remains a model that, most importantly, has helped thousands of Florida students pursue their bachelor’s degree,” said Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “It takes many dedicated people from both the Florida College System and the State University System to keep the mechanics of the statewide articulation engine working. This is accomplished through the numerous faculty reviews, Board staff work teams for common course numbering, and the year-round work of the Articulation Coordinating Committee, which helps establish common prerequisites for all public baccalaureate programs and facilitate transfer of all general education requirements.”
UCF Provost Tony Waldrop said many of the university’s most outstanding students are transfers. Seven of the 10 students who received top awards at Founders’ Day ceremonies last year transferred from a community or state college.
“From the moment students indicate they want to transfer to UCF until they earn their degrees, we work hard to provide them with the resources they need to make a smooth transition to a university environment,” Waldrop said. “The result is that our transfer students perform very well in the classroom on their way to becoming productive contributors to our region’s economy.”
UCF professors are working with their peers at several nearby community colleges to develop a curriculum focusing on undergraduate research, Waldrop said.
UCF also partners with area community and state colleges and high schools to determine how to best provide students access to important educational opportunities in the face of increasing cuts in education spending, growth in college-bound students, and university selectivity.
Although The College Board report focused on a handful of institutions nationwide, it acknowledges that there are other institutions using very similar strategies.
Examples within Florida are numerous, and include the University of Florida’s and Santa Fe College’s “Gateway to the Gators” program; and The Florida State University-Panama City’s campus “Connect” program with Gulf Coast State College. These types of agreements enhance the statewide articulation agreement.
The College Board is a nonprofit organization promoting excellence and equity in education and membership group of 5,900 institutions. Link to the full report on transfer students:http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/11b3193transpartweb110712.pdf
The State University System is included in many of the top study priorities of The College Board and its annual tracking of important issues, including the annual documents, “Trends in Student Aid 2010,” and “Trends in College Pricing 2010: www.flbog.edu/pressroom/news.php?id=368
About the State University System of Florida
The State University System is comprised of 11 institutions with a total enrollment of more than 320,000 students, making it the fourth-largest public university system in the nation in terms of enrollment (some states have more than one university system). The Florida Constitution (Article IX, Section 7) was amended by the State’s voters in 2002 to establish a statewide system of governance for all Florida public universities. As a result, the Florida Board of Governors was created to oversee the State University System of Florida. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and ensuring the well-planned coordination and operation of the System. The Board is comprised of 17 appointed members – 14 are appointed by the Governor and three are members by virtue of their designations (a faculty member, a Florida Student Association student representative, and the Commissioner of Education). The Board of Governors appoints a Chancellor who serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the State University System. For more, including the Board’s 2010 Annual Report that reflects accountability measurements and benchmarks occurring at each institution, see www.flbog.edu.