BSU to participate in national initiative on transfer student success

Bemidji State is one of 30 higher education institutions to participate in a national discussion on how to best support transfer students.

According to a release, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities are leading the initiative to focus on Transfer Student Success and Equity.

The nationwide initiative, according to Bonner Karger, will support partnerships between four-year and two-year institutions.

“Bemidji State is committed to equitable college transfer credit outcomes for all students,” Karger said.

“The Aspen/AASCU project will enhance the existing partnership between BSU and the Minnesota North Colleges, and help us develop services and programs that meet the unique educational and workforce needs of our Northern Minnesota home.”

BSU will partner closely with the Northeast Higher Education District, which is a collective of five two-year colleges within the Minnesota State system.

After Fall of ’22, the district will be rebranded as Minnesota North Colleges, after some approvals.

One goal of the initiative is to address real and perceived barriers within the transfer process.

The first Aspen-AASCU Intensive meeting was held on Nov. 18 and Bemidji State President Faith C. Hensrud was in attendance alongside Provost Allen Bedford, Karger, and Dan Voss, BSU’s transfer partnership coordinator.

“Participating in the transfer intensive with our workshop partners at the Minnesota North Colleges allows us to focus both top leadership and transfer team attention on how BSU and Minnesota North can work together to better meet the needs of the widely spread-out regions we serve,” Bedford said.

Voss said the transfer intensive presented a good opportunity to start conversations on how best to support the rebranded Minnesota North Colleges. He also said that transfer students face numerous real and perceived barriers within the transfer process that will be addressed by the intensive’s pilot cohorts.

“The transfer intensive program will help us explore and identify the barriers students face, and provide us the tools we need to address these issues,” Voss said.

By strengthening Bemidji State’s collaboration with college partners in Northern Minnesota, BSU will be better postured to serve all types of incoming students, Bedford said.

“BSU will be better able to understand what people in and near these communities need and how academic offerings at the community college and university level can align to meet those needs,” he said. “I am excited about the impact this alignment will have in the lives of those we serve and on meeting the statewide 2025 Education Attainment Goal.”

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