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Dr. Michael Baston of LaGuardia Community College Lays Out His Vision of

College Student Transfer at the NYS Transfer and Articulation Association


Conference Held May 19-21 in Saratoga Springs


Long Island City,NY—April 15, 2014—Dr. Michael Baston, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at LaGuardia Community College, will be presenting a far-reaching proposal on how to build a comprehensive transfer continuum at the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association conference on May 19-21.


This year’s conference theme is “Tracking Transfers…The Race to Graduate,” an especially relevant topic at a time when the local and national focus on graduation rates of college students.  “The transfer student population cannot be held behind in this conversation,” said Rebecca Mark, president of NYSTAA. 


In his 90-minute interactive speech, which will include PowerPoint, videos and data, Mr. Baston will spell out his plan for two different transfer populations: community college students who have aspirations of transferring to a four-year institution upon graduation; and students who are facing academic challenges at a four-year college and decide to transfer to a community college with the intent of gaining readmission to the senior college once they address their problems.


Dr. Baston said that both populations now see obstacles in reaching their objectives.


In the case of community college students, he noted that while many of those students intend on transferring to a four-year college, few community colleges address students’ transfer aspiration goals early in their experience.  “This prevents these students from building the profile that gives them the edge at getting into the institution of their choice,” he said.


For a student who transfers to a community college from a senior college, Dr. Baston said that oftentimes they do not have a clear pathway back to the institution that dismissed them and made an initial investment in recruitment dollars.


To remedy the concerns about community college student transfer, the vice president sees student affairs professionals, particularly advisors and admission directors, playing a key role in guiding their students through the transfer process.


“Student affairs professionals that work with transfer students can ensure that students attain their goals, complete their degrees and contribute to the nation’s intellectual talent pool,” he said.


In the case of students transferring to community colleges to hone their skills before reapplying to their senior colleges, Dr. Baston envisions the establishment of community college-senior college partnerships that would ensure a seamless transfer.  “This is a win-win for both colleges and students,” he said.  “Through these collaborations, a student transferring to a community college would get the remediation and support they need to succeed at their senior college.  When they return, the senior college does not lose the investment, but actually gets a return on investment.”


However, Dr. Baston added that a student who does not return to his or her senior college not only impacts their future earnings, but also their contributions to the city and state coffers.


“While individuals miss out on future earnings,” he said, “the nation suffers a loss in revenue from future taxpayers as well, thereby affecting the very system that is constructed to help them attain a high-quality education.”


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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.