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Six Tulsa-area higher education institutions join forces to improve transfer process

OSU-Tulsa campus and downtown Tulsa

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa is working together with five other area colleges to improve the transfer experience for Tulsa Community College students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

OSU-Tulsa and TCC joined Langston University, Northeastern State University, Rogers State University and The University of Tulsa in the Tulsa Transfer Project, a two-year effort to coordinate and improve the transfer process from TCC to any of these four-year institutions.

“If Oklahoma is to meet the workforce demands of increasing our number of individuals with bachelor's degrees, we must all collaborate to remove unnecessary obstacles,” said OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “We couldn't be happier to work within this group and offer a smoother transfer process to students seeking an OSU degree in Tulsa.”

According to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, more of the state’s community college students transfer to OSU than any other school in the state, and TCC sends more transfer students to OSU than any other university.

“TCC is the state’s largest provider of transfer students,” said TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. “We believe this is a critical piece of the conversation to not only help our students succeed but also help increase the number of bachelor’s degrees in our community.”

The Tulsa Transfer Project is the first collaborative effort of its kind for the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a nonprofit organization that partners with colleges and universities to improve student outcomes in higher education.

While the nonprofit has done this kind of work nationally with a single institution or a statewide system, the Tulsa collaboration is the first for a group of regional partner institutions. Each institute will participate in the Foundation of Excellence Transfer program coordinated by the Gardner Institute.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is the local sponsor for the project.

“We are committed to empowering young people to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, many who go to college face barriers along the way and the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree becomes out of reach,” said Michael DuPont, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation program officer. “In supporting this partnership, it is our hope that participating institutions will improve the way they serve transfer students as they work toward completing a degree and achieving their goals.”

During the 2017-18 academic year, 3,419 students transferred from TCC into a bachelor’s degree program with more than half of those students transferring to either OSU, Langston, NSU, RSU and TU.

Transfer students lose, on average, 13 credit hours through the transition from a community college to a four-year university, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

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