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Clark State and Witt face decline in transfer students caused by COVID-19

Although transfer enrollments have declined, Clark State officials said institutions that had already developed online transfer pathways early in the pandemic had a head start in recruiting.

“Students were comfortable in the online environment when the pandemic ended. Continuing with the flexibility they had during the pandemic was a plus,” said Travis Binkley, who died of registration services.

Clark State sees more and more partner colleges wanting to create transfer pathways for their tech undergraduate students, which Binkley says is a huge benefit to the community and the students.

To assist with transfer registration, Clark State has partnered with Franklin University during the pandemic to create a transfer portal where students can identify themselves through the Clark State portal as intending to transfer for free at Franklin. This waives their application fee and begins the credit transfer process and shows what they need to complete their bachelor’s degree.

“This is just one of our great partnerships created during the pandemic to increase transfer and make the process easier for students,” Binkley said.

Wittenberg officials said transfer pathways will also become “increasingly important” for the development and maintenance of institutions.

“It is no longer possible to sign an articulation agreement and sit in a filing cabinet hoping that students will easily navigate the transfer route – active engagement between the two institutions is essential in order to be able to support the transfer students in their success,” said Maribeth. Stevens, Witt’s vice president for enrollment management.

Stevens said students have not only found themselves in a difficult situation with the pandemic, but transferring institutions could already be a difficult process.

“This was especially the case during the pandemic, where institutional COVID policies were constantly changing and in-person support services were often limited,” she said. “Students who would typically have started college at a community college instead joined the workforce to support themselves and their families financially, which ultimately led to fewer transfer students available at institutions. four years.”

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Prior to the 2019-2020 pandemic, nearly 2.2 million students transferred to another institution to pursue their academic careers. In the first year of the pandemic in 2020-21, the loss of transferred students was almost 200,000 fewer students, or -9.1%, and in the second year of the pandemic in 2021- 22, this was an additional loss of -97,200 transfer students. students, or -4.9%, according to the Clearinghouse.

Wittenberg saw a drop from nearly 40 transfer students from 2019 to 22, according to the university’s institutional research division. There were 104 transfer students in 2019, 107 in 2022, 78 in 2021, and 63 in 2022.

Clark State officials saw a drop of 65 transfer students between 2020 and 2022.

Clearinghouse data showed transfer enrollment nationwide fell twice as sharply as non-transfer enrollment to -590,600 students or -6.3%. In 2019-20, non-transfer student enrollment decreased by -193,400 or -2.1%, and by -397,200 or -4.3% in 2021-22.

Clark State has seen a continued decline in the number of non-transfer students from 2020 to 2022, with 835 total. In 2019-20, there were 6,991 non-transfer students, compared to 6,679 in 2021-21 and 6,156 in 2021-22.

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Transferred enrollment declined the most among white students at -163,100 or -16.4%, black students at -54,800 or -16.4%, and Native American students at -3,100 or -15.6%. Those enrollment declines were more pronounced in the first year of the pandemic compared to the second year, according to data from the Clearinghouse.

These declines of ethnic groups also affected those of Wittenberg and Clark State.

Wittenberg transfer enrollment declined the most among white students at 78 in 2019 from 46 in 2022. This number was even less for black students at 8 in 2019 from 6 in 2022. Among Hispanic students, it was 5 in 2019 and 2 in 2022. .

Transfer enrollment at Clark State also declined the most among white students to 806 in 2020 from 762 in 2022. Among black students, enrollment declined from 269 in 2020 to 252 in 2022. Hispanic student enrollment declined does the same with 14 in 2020 and 46 in 2022. .

“Following the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021, many institutions were hopeful that there would be a return to pre-pandemic normalcy in the second pandemic year (2021-22). Instead, the pandemic continued to impact transfer pathways, in some cases at an accelerated rate,” the report said. “The resurgence of COVID-19 across its variants and sub-variants reminds us that higher education is not immune to the lingering effects of the pandemic.”