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OCCRL receives grant to help study community college transfer students

by Sharita Forrest / Feb 5, 2016

Debra Bragg

A grant from the Gates Foundation will support research on the policies and issues that foster or impede the success of community college transfer students. Debra Bragg, founding director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at Illinois, is co-principal investigator on the project with University of Utah education professor Jason Taylor.

Researchers at OCCRL and the University of Utah, which will receive a sub-award under the project, will study the student- and institutional-level factors that promote or hinder transfer students’ completion of bachelor’s degrees.

“This research contributes to a greater understanding of how students are affected by current transfer policies and how some higher education institutions are able to create high-performance partnerships that ensure the transfer process is working effectively,” said Bragg.

With earlier grants from the Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, OCCRL researchers are exploring the implementation of reverse transfer policies, which enable community college students to earn an associate degree using credits they accumulate after transferring to universities.

“With this new funding, we will examine long-standing issues such as transfer shock and credit loss,” said Jason Taylor, co-principal investigator on the project and a professor educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah.

The award brings the foundation’s total investment in research led by OCCRL scholars to about $1 million, said Bragg, who was named an Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor at Illinois in 2013.

Read the full article by Sharita Forrest of the Illinois News Bureau.