Collin College and the University of North Texas will participate in Education Design Lab’s Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge, a 15-month design process exploring ways for students seeking a bachelor degree to transition smoothly from a community college to a four-year institution.

While 80 percent of students enrolled in a community college express an intent to complete a bachelor’s degree, just 25 percent follow through by transferring to a four-year institution. Only 17 percent complete that degree within six years. The Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge seeks processes to help students achieve baccalaureate degrees, a springboard to greater financial success.

“Community college offers an accessible entry point into higher education for many students seeking a four-year degree,” Collin College District President Neil Matkin said. “Ensuring those students have a clear path to a four-year institution is vital for their continued academic success. We look forward to working with the University of North Texas to create those pathways.”

Collin College and UNT make up one of four institutional pairs selected to participate in the design process funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The foundation chose Collin and UNT from 50 applications representing 100 institutions from 25 states.

“This is a unique opportunity to reimagine the transfer experience for these students and lower the barriers to transfer,” UNT President Neal Smatresk said. “We are excited to work with Collin College to find new and inventive ways to support community college students looking to complete their education at a four-year institution.”

Announcing the selection, an Education Design Lab news release noted the compatibility of the institutions chosen, stating, “These four pairs demonstrated that they are ready, willing, and able to re-think the transfer experience in higher education and transform the relationship between two-year and four-year institutions.”

Other institutions selected for the design process include: Miami Dade College and Florida International University; Township High School District 211, William Rainey Harper College and Northern Illinois University; and Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University.