Governor Bruce Rauner
Chair Dr. Lazaro Lopez
Executive Director Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson

Illinois Community College Board

CTE Month Day 16

DAY 16: OCCRL Blog Series: 2- Unlocking Mobility: Building CTE Transfer Pathways

The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) is celebrating CTE Month through a four-part blog series. Part two centers around the need to redefine the relationship between transfer and CTE programs.

“While there are a growing number of pathways within CTE that are designed to support transfer to a baccalaureate program, far more often CTE programs are considered to be terminal and thus designed with minimal consideration of transferability. Generally, students in CTE programs are expected to enter the workforce upon completion of their program. These expectations are reinforced similarly to how the expectations of transfer are related to students in ‘academic’ programs.”

“Despite the barriers to transfer, students in CTE programs transfer at a rate similar to those in “academic’ programs (Townsend, 2001). However, students in ‘academic’ programs on average have about 50% more transferable course units than students in applied associate degree programs (Chase, 2011).  In cases where there is not a transfer agreement in place, CTE students have a credit loss exceeding 50% when they transfer to a baccalaureate program (Chase, 2011).”

“First, though, for change to be possible we need to re-conceptualize who our transfer students are, and we need to ensure that CTE students are part of that population. Only then can we honestly step back and understand what systemic changes are needed build supportive pathways for students to successfully transfer from associate-level to baccalaureate-level programs.” – Heather L. Fox

Please read the full blog here. The ICCB partners with OCCRL on research projects throughout the year, mainly focusing on equity issues concerning access and participation in the community college system. To learn more about OCCRL and their current research projects and publications, please visit their website.