Creating new pathways to bachelors degrees through Georgia's Transfer Summit

      On Thursday, December 18, ECEP PI Mark Guzdial hosted a Transfer Summit at Georgia Tech. In attendance were 15 professionals from 11 different institutions in the University System of Georgia, representing both two-year and four-year degree institutions.
      The goal of the summit was to ease transfer between the schools. Hosting focused meetings between professionals was a strategy that CAITE used successfully to increase the diversity in computing programs in Massachusetts.  Two year programs are much more diverse than universities (see some data here), but only about 25% of the students who want to transfer do so.  One of ECEP’s goals is to set up meetings that encourage pathways between two-year and four-year schools.
      In Georgia, Summit participants discussed the balance between General Education requirements and Computer Science pre-requisites. Students are often put at a disadvantage by taking all their General Education requirements at the two-year institution and then transferring to the four-year institution, because students risk becoming overloaded with intense CS classes for the remaining two years. And at some schools, the pre-requisite chains prevent students from even getting a full load of just-CS classes, since students have to pass the pre-requisite before they can take the follow-on class.
      By the end of the meeting, 9 new transfer agreements in-progress had been established. Some of the participants attended a similar meeting last year, and that background prepared them to make more progress at this year’s gathering. Wayne Summers from Columbus State presented a new agreement with two-year institution Georgia Perimeter College ready for discussion. Through the Summit, Georgia Perimeter College’s three faculty representatives were able to work out multiple agreements in parallel.
      ECEP is committed to cultivating opportunities for a diverse student population to pursue computing, and are encouraged by the rewards of helping students in two-year institutions move on to bachelors degrees.