June 9, 2021
The Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) has been awarded a $50,000 initial grant by the Teagle Foundation to help more community college students in Maryland achieve their goal of earning a degree from a four-year college. Nationally, about 80% of community-college students want to earn a four-year degree, but fewer than 20% do so. MICUA and its member institutions will work with Maryland’s 16 community colleges to create a comprehensive transfer consortium and improve transfer pathways to colleges. The work of the consortium will focus on clear communication, shared data analysis, and a consistent focus on identifying and removing roadblocks to student success.
With a focus on students who have been historically underrepresented and underserved at institutions of higher education, the MICUA consortium will build upon existing opportunities to make transfer to independent schools from community colleges as smooth and seamless as possible. Debbie Ricker, PhD, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hood College, and Tony Hawkins, PhD, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Frederick Community College, co-chaired the workgroup that submitted the proposal and that included Chief Academic Officers and grant writers from the MICUA campuses and the community colleges.
“The Teagle grant will benefit many college students in Maryland by facilitating and supporting partnerships between community colleges and private and independent institutions of higher education in our state,” said Tony D. Hawkins. “Specifically, this grant will expose community college students to Maryland’s private and independent institutions, simplify and improve the transfer process, and make it more financially feasible for them to transfer. We look forward to working together to increase positive student success outcomes.”
Through this grant, MICUA will create a comprehensive and coordinated mechanism for promoting transfer from Maryland community colleges to MICUA schools, and for sharing transfer student outcomes across all institutions. Beyond allowing MICUA to build a statewide structure to collaborate with community college peers, this grant will help align MICUA priorities with the priorities of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) for transfer, as well as nationwide interest in expanding post-secondary education to all those who seek it.
“The Teagle Foundation and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have provided an extraordinary opportunity for Maryland independent colleges to partner together to further open transfer pathways to the liberal arts. While our institutions are unique in many ways, the common focus of the work ahead will be our students and developing strategies that support their overall success. It’s an honor to work with my colleague, Tony Hawkins, and the other members of the planning team on this important work for Maryland students,” said Debbie Ricker.
“We are so grateful for this generous funding from The Teagle Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations” said Sara Fidler, President of MICUA. “Their confidence and support will enable us to strengthen our efforts to facilitate transfer as part of the community college student’s journey toward the achievement of a baccalaureate degree. We are looking forward to getting started!”