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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Inaugural Old Dominion University-Virginia Community College Transfer Partnership Summit

The inaugural Transfer Partnership Summit organized by Old Dominion University and the Virginia Community College System had two major goals: to enhance the transfer process and celebrate the university's long-lasting partnership with Virginia's 23 community colleges. The summit was held June 8 in ODU's Webb Center.

Approximately 120 faculty, advisers and administrators met to discuss methods for streamlining the transfer pathways between Virginia community colleges and the University. The group was encouraged in its work by ODU President John R. Broderick and VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois during the event. Participants were briefed on national changes in higher education enrollment by EAB consultants Ed Venit, project manager, and Tom Sugar, vice president of partnerships.

"We have a long history of serving transfer students at Old Dominion University," said President Broderick. "In recent times, the national conversation has shifted to encourage the kinds of partnerships that we have had in place for decades," he added.

Morning sessions allowed time for faculty to discuss course content, share syllabi, and explore methods for improving communication among institutions.

The administrators discussed policies and procedures, such as reverse transfer, to help students complete degree programs more efficiently and at a cost-savings.

Brian Payne, vice provost for academic affairs, encouraged participants to view transfer students as students the institutions share, rather than students who are "owned" by a particular higher education institution. "Our students come to us from multiple pathways. We need to honor, embrace and formalize those pathways in order to best serve our students," Payne said.

The advisers reviewed ODU's services for transfer students, including a soon-to-be launched comprehensive website for all transfer students, and the pre-ODU admission program, which includes an online "letter of intent" from students who plan to transfer to the University.

Transfer students, including ODU's SGA president, Isaiah Lucas, and Tau Sigma (transfer honor society) president, Shaunique Lamb, also attended the event. They provided feedback on the transfer pathways from their own transfer pathway stories.

Following lunch, VCCS guests were invited to tour campus facilities while ODU participants -- representing the colleges, ODU Online, the Regional Higher Education Centers, and Student Engagement and Enrollment Services -- discussed the future of academic advising and its impact on retaining and graduating students with EAB representatives.

A final activity suggested next steps for accomplishing the goals addressed throughout the day.

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