Independent colleges partner to improve transfer opportunities for community college students

$50,000 grant will aid in expanding transfer pathways to the Liberal Arts

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 23, 2022) — The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU) has been awarded a $50,000 planning grant from The Teagle Foundation and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to create new transfer pathways into the liberal arts for students graduating from community colleges across the state.

CICU has established a network of 56 colleges and universities — a mixture of four-year private, not-for-profit institutions and two-year community colleges — that will participate in this effort. The public-private partnership aims to identify opportunities that build bridges to improve and increase transfer for students graduating from New York’s community colleges to independent colleges and universities to earn four-year degrees.

The effort will have a special focus on improving those pathways for BIPOC, underserved, and underrepresented students in liberal arts disciplines.

CICU and the participating institutions will use the funding to achieve several objectives:

· Identify the challenges and roadblocks that currently hinder students from transferring to a four-year institution after completing their two-year degree;

· Investigate peer states’ transfer best practices;

· Assess current transfer practices to identify information gaps and ways to improve transparency in transfer processes;

· Strengthen relationships between four-year independent institutions and community colleges and work toward the establishment of new transfer pathways that will facilitate community college graduates’ transfer to four-year independent institutions.

“Transfer pathways are established within the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) systems, but there is not an established pathway for students with an associate degree interested in transferring from one of the state’s community colleges into the state’s Independent Sector. This grant-supported transfer initiative project is an important step toward identifying and establishing new, clearer pathways for transfer, so students have the opportunity to plan for transfer to the four-year college or university that best meets their needs,” said CICU President Lola W. Brabham.

“The 100+ colleges and universities that make up New York’s Independent Sector of higher education offer students a range of unique and exceptional experiences. Building pathways for community college students to transfer into Independent Sector institutions will open the door for more students to benefit from our sector’s educational excellence,” said David Munson, president of Rochester Institute of Technology and chair of the CICU Board of Trustees.

“We’ve seen how established transfer pathways have helped students navigate the intricacies of public higher education. This grant will open new opportunities for young men and women as they figure out how they will continue their educational journey. I thank CICU for spearheading this effort and The Teagle Foundation and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for their generous donation,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, chair of the New York State Senate Higher Education Committee.

For more about CICU, its member institutions, and its mission, visit




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