CUNY transfer practice community turns collaboration into action

The City University of New York (CUNY) is revolutionizing the transfer experience through a groundbreaking model of collaboration and action. The CUNY Transfer Practice Community brings together faculty, advisors, and administrators from across the university’s 25 campuses to streamline transfer pathways, ensuring that credits move as smoothly as students. By turning collaboration into concrete change, the initiative is redefining what transfer success looks like for the nation’s largest urban public university.

A Broken Transfer System

For too long, transferring credits has been a labyrinthine nightmare for students. Courses meticulously selected at one institution are often rejected by another, forcing students to retake classes, prolong graduation, and amass unnecessary debt. The problem is particularly acute at CUNY, where a majority of students begin at a community college with the intent to transfer and complete a bachelor’s. The resulting credit loss is not just a frustration, but a barrier to degree completion and social mobility.

Collaboration: The Antidote to Credit Chaos

The CUNY Transfer Practice Community is tackling this problem head-on by bringing together the stakeholders who can effect change. Through regular meetings, professional development, and shared resources, the community is creating a culture of transparency, consistency, and student-centeredness across campuses. Advisors are gaining the knowledge to better guide students, faculty are aligning curricula, and administrators are streamlining policies – all with the goal of making transfer a seamless experience.

From Theory to Practice

The power of the Transfer Practice Community lies in its commitment to turning collaboration into action. Working groups are developing standardized transfer templates, crosswalks, and advising tools that provide clarity on how credits will be accepted. Campuses are implementing Transfer Champions programs, which empower faculty and staff to advocate for student needs. The community is also leveraging data and student feedback to identify bottlenecks and drive systemic improvements.

A Model for the Nation

As the Transfer Practice Community continues to grow and evolve, it is emerging as a national model for reforming transfer. Its success lies not just in the policies it is changing, but the culture it is creating – one that places student needs at the forefront and recognizes that collaboration is the key to a more just and equitable higher education system. By turning words into action, the CUNY Transfer Practice Community is redefining what is possible when we work together to remove barriers and create pathways to student success.

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