Central College News

Central College Selected for Iowa Private Transfer Collaborative Grant

Featured: Central College Selected for Iowa Private Transfer Collaborative Grant

August 28, 2023

Central College joins 16 other Iowa private colleges and universities to participate in a three-year grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the Teagle Foundation awarded to the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Transferring from a community college to a private college or university in Iowa will become more transparent, cost-effective and coordinated thanks to a three-year grant awarded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and Teagle Foundation to the Iowa Private Transfer Collaborative (IPTC). This group is a consortium of 17 Iowa nonprofit colleges and universities and two nonprofit organizations focused on Iowa higher education. The $350,000 grant is a part of the foundations’ shared Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts initiative.

“Central faculty have been working with colleagues across the state for two years to consider how best to make the transition from Iowa community colleges to our institutions more seamless,” says Mary E.M. Strey, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “That work will continue this year in anticipation of pathways for those with associate degrees from our community college partners to transfer directly to Central to complete a Bachelor’s degree.”

“Central has a strong reputation for welcoming students who transfer from community colleges,” says Chevy Freiburger, vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions. “The Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts initiative aligns with Central’s established transfer graduation commitment, to help students earn a bachelor’s degree and graduate on time. We make transferring easy.”

The grant will fund work across the state aimed at bringing together faculty from community colleges and four-year institutions to ensure the seamless transfer of academic credits and placing a greater emphasis on the retention rate for transfer students from community colleges to four-year institutions.

Under the grant, private institutions will work to expand their program offerings to include the existing statewide transfer majors of biology, chemistry, English, history, psychology and sociology. Other transfer credit policies will also be implemented, including the expansion of general education articulation agreements and reverse transfer opportunities. A guaranteed admission agreement for students earning Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees at Iowa community colleges is a significant initiative in the grant.

According to the 2022 Fall Enrollment Report from the Iowa Department of Education, fall enrollment across Iowa’s community colleges increased by 502 students from 2021. This increase represents a 0.6 percent rise in the total number of students enrolled last fall: 82,251 compared to 81,749 in 2021. In contrast, community college enrollment nationally decreased by 0.4 percent. Iowa’s increase in community college enrollment is the first since fall 2010 when enrollment peaked at 106,597 students.

The grant will also fund the redevelopment of the iowaprivatecolleges.org website to help centralize student transfer information for private colleges and universities. A part-time project director will be hired through the grant to coordinate grant activities. The IPTC joins many other states in receiving an implementation grant to open transfer pathways to liberal arts degrees for community college students.

Members of the IPTC include Briar Cliff University, Buena Vista University, Central College, Clarke University, Coe College, Cornell College, Drake University, Grand View University, Loras College, Luther College, Morningside University, Mount Mercy University, Northwestern College, Saint Ambrose University, Simpson College, University of Dubuque, and Wartburg College. The two nonprofit organizations facilitating the distribution of the grant money are the Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority and the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities.