Coe receives three-year grant to enhance transfer experience for Iowa community college students

Coe College is one of 17 recipients of a three-year grant to ensure transferring from a community college to a private college or university in Iowa will be transparent, cost-effective, and coordinated. The $350,000 grant was awarded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and Teagle Foundation to the Iowa Private Transfer Collaborative (IPTC), a consortium of 17 Iowa nonprofit colleges and universities and two nonprofit organizations focused on Iowa higher education.

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.

Coe continues to create relationships with its fellow Iowa community colleges, colleges and universities. After signing articulation agreements with both Kirkwood Community College and Drake University this year, Coe aims to continue to build bridges.

“Creating pathways for all students interested in a liberal arts education has been and continues to be a focus for us at Coe,” said Coe College Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness Julie Staker ’93. “The advantages of a personal and immersive experience like you find at Coe are so significant — everyone deserves access.” 

Coe is nationally ranked for both access to internships and accessible professors by The Princeton Review.

The grant is part of both the Arthur Vining David and Teagle foundations’ shared Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts initiative.

“We are passionate about bringing the lifelong benefits of a liberal arts education to students who historically have been excluded from higher education—including low-income students, first-generation students, students of color and immigrant students—who now constitute the new majority of undergraduates and often depend on community college as their gateway to higher education,” said Michael Murray, president and CEO of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. 

Andrew Delbanco, president of the Teagle Foundation, highlighted how the grant will help improve the transfer experience for Iowa community college students.

“Teagle is committed to enhancing the educational environment for all students,” said Delbanco. “Through this grant, we are pleased to support curricular bridge-building in Iowa that will provide more options for community college students to complete their education at independent colleges well-suited to help them reach their goals, while also bringing greater diversity of background and lived experience to the independent college sector.”

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.

The grant will also fund the redevelopment of the 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.

The two nonprofit organizations facilitating distribution of the grant money are the Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority and the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities.

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