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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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Community College Initiatives Lead to Spike in Transfers to UT Institutions

AUSTIN – The number of community college students transferring to UT System institutions grew 11.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, accounting for the largest annual gain in recent memory and showing signs that efforts to boost the number of transfers to the system are bearing fruit.

Last year, the latest for which figures were available, 9,606 community college students transferred to the UT System’s nine academic institutions, marking a significant increase in the number of transfers from 2008 (8,628). In 2007, 8,566 community college students transferred to UT System institutions, making the increase from 2007 to 2008 less than 1 percent.  An update on the UT System’s community college outreach efforts was presented to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Regents at a Wednesday meeting.

“We owe it to the state to increase access to college and improve the workforce for the betterment of Texas and these efforts, we believe, are fostering some remarkable strides toward achieving a more educated labor force,” said David B. Prior, UT System executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “As these and other efforts gain more momentum, we expect the number of community college transfers to increase across all Texas public universities.”

Last year’s spike could be attributed to several recent UT System initiatives aimed at increasing the number of community college transfers to Texas universities.

“I am very pleased with the activities University of Texas institutions are engaged with to help community college students successfully transfer to four-year universities,” UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said.

In a collaborative effort with the Texas A&M University System and the state’s 50 community college districts, the UT System last September launched a website called “Transfer 101: From Community College to University,” [www.transfer101.org] which offers easy-to-use directions for successfully making the transition from community colleges to four-year institutions. Last October – the first full month of its operation after launching – the website recorded 551 hits. In April 2010, the website recorded 5,455 hits.

Also in an effort to raise awareness about community college transfers, the UT System last year became a co-sponsor of the annual All-Texas Academic Team, which honors high-achieving community college students across the state. The UT System also has hosted workshops to foster transfer success action plans and to develop articulation agreements between local community colleges and UT institutions.

About The University of Texas System

Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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