The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), supported by an eight-month planning grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the Teagle Foundation, is slated to begin scaling the New England Transfer Guarantee (the Guarantee) to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont this month.
The northern expansion of the Guarantee is an extension of the current initiative, which was implemented in both Massachusetts and Connecticut in early 2020, with Rhode Island slated for fall 2021. The Guarantee offers associate degree holders guaranteed admission into participating four-year independent institutions, with a focus on the liberal arts. The southern New England implementation is funded by the Teagle Foundation and the Davis Educational Foundation.
In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, NEBHE is collaborating with state partners to develop a plan to streamline and unify transfer for both in-state public and independent colleges and universities. NEBHE’s partners include: the Maine Community College System, the University of Maine System, the Maine Independent College Association, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the University System of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire College and University Council, as well as the Community College of Vermont and the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges.
NEBHE will begin exploring the development of a transfer guarantee that will ensure associate degree holders’ acceptance at participating public and independent four-year institutions in these states. Students, who meet eligibility criteria and are covered under the Guarantee, will be able to transfer as juniors and be academically prepared to successfully complete a bachelor’s degree.
The eight-month planning grant will lay the foundation for: building stronger partnerships between community colleges and four-year public and independent institutions in the three states; developing a unified guaranteed admission transfer system for community college students; promoting transfer into liberal arts programs; and increasing the number of community college transfer students who earn a bachelor’s degree.
“In light of great progress in implementing the Guarantee in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, NEBHE is very pleased for the opportunity to leverage important lessons learned as we work with Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont,” said Michael K. Thomas, president and CEO of NEBHE. “Establishing stronger linkages between our outstanding two-year institutions and our public and independent four-year colleges and universities simply makes sense as we strive to increase both associate and bachelor’s degree completion rates and expand our regional talent pipeline. We are appreciative of the support and trust of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, the Teagle Foundation and our state partners, as we launch this ambitious scaling endeavor.”
Emily Decatur is associate director of NEBHE’s Regional Student Program & Transfer Initiatives.