For transfer students, UTA aims to be springboard for success
With structured pathways that aim to provide seamless transitions from area community colleges, The University of Texas at Arlington has long sought to be a university known for its welcoming and supportive environment for transfer students.
That dedication to supporting transfer students and ensuring their success is reflected in the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, which lists UTA as No. 5 in the nation for universities that enroll the most transfer students.
UT Arlington accepted 5,812 transfer students in fall 2019, according to the U.S. News list, which reviewed data from 1,138 colleges and universities.
Troy Johnson, vice president for enrollment management, said UT Arlington places a great importance on transfer students and provides them with a supportive environment.
"We have agreements with Tarrant County College (TCC) and Dallas College to ease transfer processes for students,” Johnson said. “Making these transfer pathways both easy to understand and easy to experience is essential to making transfer students feel welcome. We want them to be a part of our Maverick family."
UT Arlington and Dallas College renewed an agreement in 2019 that substantially enhanced their existing partnership and further eased pathways for transfer through early advising and data sharing.
UT Arlington also has an agreement with TCC that has the two institutions regularly sharing relevant data about students enrolled in associate degree plans. Other aspects of the agreement establish contact with possible transfer students during their TCC academic careers.
Johnson said these and many other partnership agreements will continue to strengthen the already strong bond between UT Arlington and Texas’ community colleges.
“We have to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Johnson said. “Much of the future workforce needs employees with four-year degrees. We will continue to strive to make that transfer process easier and more fruitful for our students.”
Nine of the top 10 colleges that enrolled the most transfer students are public schools. Six of them, including UT Arlington, are considered “national universities” that are typically research-focused and offer a variety of college majors in addition to granting master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of academic disciplines.
Johnson serves on an American Council of Education (ACE) task force established in January 2020 that is charged with producing a report on best practices and emerging strategies for improving the transfer and awarding of credit. Its goal is to advance student success, promote equity and make college more affordable.
ACE reported that a 2018 snapshot from National Student Clearinghouse data found that more than a million students, 38% of the 2.8 million entering college for the first time in fall 2011, transferred to a different institution at least once within six years. Unfortunately, many of these transfer students lost academic credit in the process.
“The recommendations of this national report could help several colleges and universities streamline their procedures and make it easier on students,” Johnson said. “We plan to replicate this study locally, to improve transfer success right here in DFW.”
UTA is committed to achieving the goals of the state of Texas’ 60x30TX campaign, which was launched in 2015 and calls for at least 60% of Texans ages 25-34 to have a certificate or college degree by 2030.