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Research Round-up: Cross-state Data Exchange, Transfer Successes


August 27, 2014


Research Round-up: Cross-state Data Exchange, Transfer Successes

The body of research on data exchange between states and transfer between institutions continues to grow.

The Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange has successfully shared data across states while protecting student privacy, according to two new publications. This project of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) explored data exchange between Hawai'i, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to provide information on the outcomes of individuals moving in between these states.

Exchanging the data between states made it possible to learn outcomes for an additional 7 percent of postsecondary completers. The researchers also found that more than 60 percent of postsecondary graduates had remained in the state from which they graduated a year after completion, and that earnings were impacted by student relocations, as well as by many other factors such as credential attained and field of study.  

In addition, the National Center for Education Statistics has published an in-depth study of student transfer between postsecondary institutions. According to these findings, the bulk of all credits that are transferred originate from public two-year community and technical colleges. About one-third of first-time beginning students will end up transferring, and 11 percent more than once. The research also found that a student's GPA prior to a transfer was related positively to the number of credits accepted at the destination institution, while reverse and horizontal transfer (from four-year to two-year schools and between schools of the same type, relatively) were negatively related to the number of credits accepted at the new institution.

Related research on transfer has examined the importance of community colleges in bachelor's degree attainment. Transfer success has been shown to be correlated to earning as associate degree before transfer and to being able to successfully transfer credits earned.

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