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Transfer Center
2019-2020 Program Review


1) Unit Profile


1.1) Briefly describe the program-level planning unit. What is the unit's purpose and function?

The purpose of the Transfer Program is to assist students with successfully transitioning to baccalaureate granting institutions. This is accomplished through outreach, educating students about transfer, partnerships between ARC and universities, advocating for articulation and appropriate course offerings, and ensuring counseling faculty are well trained in the various transfer pathways.

1.2) How does the unit contribute to achievement of the mission of American River College?

The ARC Transfer Center supports the college's transfer function by providing resources that facilitate successful transfer to four-year institutions. Within the last six years, the unit (under direction of the Transfer Center Director) has: (1) maintained and updated its website and resource library; (2) promoted student transfer by hosting four-year representatives on a regular basis; (3) revised the curriculum of the HCD 318 (Transfer: Making It Happen) course; (4) conducted workshops and classroom presentations; (5) sponsored visits to four-year institutions; (6) maintained the campus Transfer Center Advisory Committee and established collaborative relationships on and off campus (7) Promoted and facilitated the implementation of transfer agreements.

2) Assessment and Analysis


The program review process asks units to reflect on the progress they've made towards achieving the goals they identified in each of the Annual Unit Plans they submitted since their last Program Review. Follow this link to access your previous EMP submissions. For assistance accessing the EMP system, please contact Mary Goodall at GoodalM@arc.losrios.edu or (916) 484-4535.

2.1) Consider the progress that has been made towards the unit's objectives over the last six years. Based on how the unit intended to measure progress towards achieving these objectives, did the unit's prior planned action steps (last six years of annual unit plans) result in the intended effect or the goal(s) being achieved?

Based on the unit's objectives and its intended measurements, the unit has shown overall progress in the following ways: I. Developed a stand-alone budget: The transfer center was granted general funds through the counseling department. This allotted discretionary fund allows for the unit to consistently finance annual programs with security such as Transfer Day, University Field Trips, College Application Weeks, UC & CSU Admit Celebrate and the On-Track-Transfer Series. This level of assurance allows the unit to effectively leverage its funds with other departments and collaborate on initiatives such as college field trips and the On-Track-Transfer Series. II. Developed and incorporated a tracking system: The unit has enhanced its student contact tracking system through an appointment system called SARS Anywhere. We have incorporated reason codes that students are able to select upon dropping in that better identifies the type of activity they are conducting in the Transfer Center. The unit has also incorporated an efficient practice of workshop sign-in sheets and post conference surveys. III. Increased workshop programs: The unit has shown dramatic growth in the number of workshops that it hosts, especially within the last year. This unit hosted over 29 workshops during Fall 2019 and another 18 workshops and 7 University field trips during the Spring of 2020. The unit has also seen an increase in the number of attendees per workshop with a general average of 10-15 students per session. IV. Increased Overall Student Contact: The unit has shown an increase of student contact especially within the last year across multiple forms of activity such as drop-in, quick question, college application assistance, appointment and drop-in activity with either a transfer center counselor or University representatives. We have also increased the number of university representatives from public and private universities. Previously, the unit only hosted 7-8 university representatives to campus on a consistent basis; this academic year, we have hosted 16 different university representatives on campus thus far.

The following data sets may be useful in promoting and informing departmental dialogue, planning, decision making, and resource allocation.

Email Standard Data Set link

In addition to reflecting on the metrics shown above, it may prove useful to analyze other program-level data to assess the effectiveness of your unit. For instructional units, ARC’s Data on demand system can be used to provide program and course level information regarding equitable outcomes, such as program access or enrollment, successful course completion, and degree or certificate achievement (up to 30+ demographic or course filters are available).

You might also consider pursuing other lines of inquiry appropriate to your unit type (instructional, student support, institutional/administrative support). Refer to the Program Review Inquiry Guide for specific lines of inquiry.

2.2) What were the findings? Please identify program strengths, opportunities, challenges, equity gaps, influencing factors (e.g., program environment), data limitations, areas for further research, and/or other items of interest.

I. Strengths: The Transfer Center has been a valuable asset to the counseling department and to the overall campus. It serves as a central hub for students seeking to transfer and the unit continues to facilitate a transfer advisory committee comprised of staff and faculty who discuss campus strategic planning related to increasing transfer rates across campus.Transferring to a four-year institution can be a confusing process, especially for first-generation and low-income students. With that, the Transfer Center functions have become more proactive to ensure that all students receive proper and updated information with counseling being a key component. Some of the strengths of the unit include: Developing a comprehensive calendar of workshops and programs that are strategically plotted with critical transfer deadlines and priorities. For example, we host over 23 different college application workshops for UC, UC TAP/TAG, UC Personal Insight Questions, CSU, and Common Application throughout the Fall semester, prior to the application deadlines. These workshops address the associated anxieties that students undergo when beginning application processes. The unit also facilitated a series of equity-centered programs that seek to demystify transfer for historically disadvantaged communities that include African American, LatinX, LGTBIQ+ and undocumented students. In addition, the unit has also partnered with our Veterans Resource Center to plan an OnTrack Transfer Equity Series event. Lastly, the unit introduced major-specific workshops such as business, computer science and engineering, biological sciences, psychology, criminal justice and nursing. University representatives from these specific academic departments presented about their program, requirements, and the general student experience. This increases the level of preparation among students interested in these fields and therefore increases their likelihood of successful transfer. We also provided students with financial aid workshops for UC and CSU, so students are better prepared on understanding how financial aid operates at the four year university system and how to seek additional aid to support their cost of attendance. Collaborating with other units better serves the mission of increasing transfer rates especially for low-income and first generation students. These partner units include Umoja, Puente, PRISE, EOP&S, Achieve, and Trio. We have been able to collaborate on initiatives including but not limited to University field trips and on the On-Track-Track equity series. These have also been instrumental in communicating all the transfer services and resources that our center provides to their respective students. Our collaboration has also involved meetings with our district Transfer Center partners to discuss strategies to address and enhance the student transfer experience, improve data tracking, high intervention for students who are transfer ready but may need counseling guidance to learn transfer option eligibility, and ways to share events such as future UC and CSU Admit Celebrate and university field trips. Our Transfer Center Counselor also works with our Articulation Officer and previous Transfer Center Directors and Counselors to discuss past and present practices on transfer data, field trip and workshop series, strategies for increasing transfer rates, implementation of best practices for the various application processes such as Cal State Apply, UC TAG, TAP, and UCLA TAP Honors Certificate, and share university updates such as those pertaining to articulation, major programs, and Assist.org information. Students have responded favorably to all services provided. Since counseling has been instituted as part of the Transfer Center function, students have become more aware of the other services and support provided. The effectiveness of the Transfer Center's supportive environment is measured by the number of students who return and refer their peers to the center. II. Some of the opportunities, challenges, equity Gaps/Influencing Factors (e.g. Program Environment) include the following: One of the most significant barriers is that we currently don't have a full-time transfer center counselor. Our student demand for transfer center counseling has increased over the years and having a full-time counselor is necessary to provide more appointment and drop-in counseling services for students that have already worked on education plans with a general counseling but seek additional and specific counseling around transfer. Also, the Transfer Center counselor plays a vital role in the continued professional development of the counseling department through university updates, department meeting training and being a general resource to full-time and adjunct counselors alike for transfer related questions. There is very limited space in the transfer center which makes it difficult for the staff to conduct all the transfer activities that it seeks to such as transfer center counseling, workshops, university representative meetings, college application assistance and more. The lack of computers makes it difficult to accommodate all the students that seek assistance with their college application especially during high peak times. Booking becomes difficult when we have limited office space for the University Representative, Transfer Center Counselor, Transfer Specialist and Temporary SPA. The Transfer Center performs a dynamic set of support services with very little resources; yet more could be done to support students. This is where collaboration with counselor faculty and our articulation officer who are also skilled in transfer counseling, and those in transfer preparation programs come into play. It is important to utilize the human resources already available at the institution to make transfer an institutional goal, and not just the goal of a particular program. Further collaboration can improve the Transfer Center's function, and in turn, promote a transfer culture throughout the campus. III. Data Limitations/Areas for further research: One significant equity gap in improving and informing the work of the Transfer Center is being provided the institution data around transfer rates. This includes the lack of data and research around the number of students that apply, are admitted to and attend Private Universities or Out of State Universities. There are few data points on tracking what our students do after they graduate or transfer such as where they attend, what degrees they acquire and the cross analysis of the identity groups that these students represent. This data would be vital in informing our transfer programs, activities and the overall execution of our mission of effectively increasing transfer rates for all. It is also difficult to obtain the contact information of the students that have been admitted for any one particular admission period to conduct in-reach intervention activities such as additional counseling or encouraging to attend a workshop. - Currently there is no active system of intervention for when students achieve a high number of units or have a failed graduation petition. These student markers are significant signals for our unit and the institution as a whole to conduct in-reach activities such as transfer counseling or encourage them to attend a workshop.

3) Reflection and Dialog


3.1) Discuss how the findings relate to the unit's effectiveness. What did your unit learn from the analysis and how might the relevant findings inform future action?

Through our analysis of the Transfer Center's effectiveness, relevant findings inform the future action of the need to hire a full-time Transfer Center Director and full-time Counselor. In addition, there is a need to advocate for increased space capacity (i.e., multiple office spaces, computer lab) to accommodate our staff, faculty and students utilizing our center on a daily basis. To enhance our Transfer Center's effectiveness, it is critical to improve and increase our transfer student data tracking system, and marketing. Furthermore, our findings indicate the need for continued faculty and staff training on transfer information and university program admissions updates. Continuing to provide opportunities for professional development through training for our faculty and staff will enhance the Transfer Center staff collaboration with campus partners. Future action will also need to involve more active outreach in classrooms to inform how to best develop more diverse programs. As our center implements more active outreach and increasing the presence of more diverse programs, our Transfer Center team can reach out to and strengthen partnerships with university representatives historically not present on 4. Strategic Enhancement campus.

3.2) What is the unit's ideal future and why is it desirable to ARC? How will the unit's aspirations support accomplishment of the mission, improve institutional effectiveness, and/or increase academic quality?

The purpose of the Transfer Program is to assist students with successfully transitioning to baccalaureate granting institutions. This is desirable to ARC to ensure as best as possible that the Transfer Center's goals and accomplishments connect with the ARC mission and the Chancellor Vision of Success. The Transfer Center's aspirations will support the accomplishments of the mission, improve institutional effectiveness, and/or increase academic quality in the following ways: I. Accomplishment of Mission: Provide outreach, increase partnerships between ARC, which includes all units in advisory committee, and universities, continued professional development opportunities for learning transfer related information through counseling department meetings, dissemination of campus wide emails and conference attendance, advocate for articulation and appropriate course offerings, and educate students about transfer. II. Improve Institutional Effectiveness: Provide resources that facilitate successful transfer to four-year institutions. Within the last six years, the unit, under the direction of the Transfer Center Director, has maintained and updated its website and resource library, and promoted students to transfer by hosting four-year representatives on a regular basis. III. Academic Quality: Revised the curriculum of the HCD 318 (Transfer: Making It Happen) course, conducted workshops and classroom presentations, engaged in collaboration with Articulation Officer to identify new course agreements with universities and revise course articulations as necessary, sponsored visits to four-year institutions, maintained the campus Transfer Center Advisory Committee and established collaborative relationships on- and off-campus, promoted and facilitated the implementation of transfer agreements, and ensured counseling faculty are well trained in the various transfer pathways.

4) Strategic Enhancement


4.1) Identify/define one or more program-level objectives which enhance the unit's effectiveness. What does your unit intend to do to work towards its ideal future? How will success be measured?

Our program-level objectives which enhance the Transfer Center’s effectiveness include increasing student contact, distributing and collecting surveys from students and faculty, and improving SARS. The Transfer Center staff intends to work toward our ideal future through counselor performance surveys. Success will be measured through various ways. Surveys will be administered to measure Counselor Performance, events, and post workshops. In addition, SARS tracking system will not only allow the Transfer Center’s staff to measure student contact and the reasons for the student contact, but also give us the opportunity to improve SARS data tracking as necessary. For workshop data, we can measure the interest in particular workshops through roster attendance documents.

4.2) How will the unit's intended enhancements support ARC's commitment to social justice and equity?

Our Transfer Center continues to support ARC’s commitment to social justice and equity through specific, intentional program enhancements. These enhancements involve increased student contact, being more inclusive in our Transfer Advisory Committee through invitations to members of special programs and instructional faculty to represent our diverse community, and providing major specific workshops to increase awareness of majors to our students. In addition, field trips to various university campuses and collaborating with campus equity partners have made it possible for our Transfer Center to increase access to transfer information for our students and faculty. To encourage faculty opportunity to participate in student workshops, our Transfer Center is continuing to communicate with our Dean of Student services to announce the opportunities and reservation of schedules to provide professional development opportunities. Our On Track Transfer Series provides enhanced partnerships with our learning communities, such as Umoja Sakhu and PRISE, to present transfer educational opportunities such as a HBCU Panel, Common Application Workshops, and Alumni Panels. Every piece of our Transfer Center’s intended enhancements demonstrates ARC’s commitment to social justice and equity for our campus wide community.