Washington, D.C., Sept. 10, 2007—The National Articulation and Transfer Network (NATN) today re-launched to become the nation’s first and only policy leader and one-stop resource for addressing the complexities involved with the credit transfer process among higher education institutions across the country. The newly enhanced membership organization is dedicated to serving community colleges and four-year institutions in an effort to increase the number of transfer students, particularly historically underserved student populations such as minority students, who want to achieve their postsecondary educational endeavors to earn a baccalaureate degree.
The core focus of NATN is to operate now as a national research and policy development resource to help students, counselors, administrators, researchers, and policymakers better understand the process of transferring. Through its enhanced Web site (www.natn.org; formerly known as www.collegestepz.com) and other broader initiatives, the organization is working to establish comprehensive, nationwide transfer policies among higher education institutions and policy leaders to enhance access and success. Some examples of NATN’s activities include documenting and disseminating best practices, providing data on current transfer trends, contributing to national higher education dialogues, hosting forums for policy discussions, and linking policy to transfer student outcomes. It also offers collaboration opportunities with other members to discuss institutional and multi-institutional articulation and transfer initiatives at premier higher education events such as the Summer Academy, an annual gathering for senior academic and campus stakeholders hosted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).
“With 60 percent of all undergraduate students attending multiple institutions and 40 percent of those crossing state lines in the process, NATN recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of today’s students who have become increasingly mobile,” said Margarita Benítez, Ph.D., IHEP senior associate and NATN coordinator. “Our goal is to help students, especially students of color who are usually first in their families to attend college, improve their chances of completing their baccalaureate degree requirements by encouraging greater involvement by transfer-friendly institutions.”
Another key initiative of the organization is the NATN Student Portal (www.natn.org/studentportal), which serves as an online tool that addresses the needs of all transfer students and helps counselors who offer students advice on their educational opportunities. The site includes customizable search options to help better match students with the best-suited institutions. Students may also browse through critical information on admissions, financial aid, housing, testing and assessment, and transfer requirements. Through its partnership with the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, the NATN Student Portal also includes access to the organization’s more than 350 minority-serving institutions—Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
“NATN creates significant opportunities within the higher education community for both students and colleges and universities,” said Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., president of the NATN Board of Directors and president of the Bronx Community College. “By providing multiple resources that serve all those involved with the transfer process, NATN is ideally positioned to pave the way for transfer success on the national, state, and local levels.”
Funded in part by Lumina Foundation for Education, NATN is a major initiative of the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education and IHEP. The Alliance is a national coalition that serves the shared interests of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
The City College of San Francisco launched NATN in 2003 to begin the initial planning, structuring, and implementation phases. In 2006, the Alliance retained management responsibility of the organization to help broaden its reach of addressing articulation and transfer issues across the country.