Recognized as a leader in transfer student success, UCF received the John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence Award for Students in Transition 2021 for its Curriculum Alignment Initiative (KA). The National Resource Center for Freshman Experience and Transitioning Students annually presents this award to institutions that have designed and implemented outstanding collaborative initiatives to enhance academic success during the undergraduate experience. .
Each year, approximately 6,400 students become Knights thanks to the Direct connection to UCF program that guarantees admission to students transferring from one of the six partner institutions of the Florida College System (FCS). The key to ensuring that these students succeed and ultimately graduate is to provide a continuum of support that begins at the state college level and moves on to UCF.
â€œUCF is honored to receive this award,â€ said Pam Cavanaugh, associate vice-president of UCF Connection. â€œIt underscores the importance of partnership and our unwavering commitment to providing each Knight with the support and resources necessary to unleash their full potential. “
Since its inception in 2006, the CA initiative has been a multi-pronged effort to mitigate the â€œtransfer shockâ€ and strengthen UCF’s transfer culture of success. The goals of this effort are to align and synchronize core course content and the learning skills that students acquire by taking courses transferable via DirectConnect to UCF partner colleges and the university. A core element is focused on academic preparation and synchronized learning and skills in DirectConnect to UCF partner institutions. Currently, the company is focusing on 50 courses in 10 disciplines.
â€œWe want students to have the same knowledge as first-time students at UCF University,â€ says Teresa Dorman, Associate Dean at UCF. College of Sciences. “The CA initiative helps ensure that transfer students who complete lower level courses at a state college are prepared to succeed in higher level courses at UCF.”
Lower level courses are usually prerequisite courses or bridge courses required by the major desired by the student. But it goes beyond the end of the course. It is about developing basic knowledge that makes transfer students â€œjunior level readyâ€ when they arrive at UCF. This level of preparation reduces overtime, time to graduation, and increases the graduation rates of transfer students.
The success of the CA initiative requires the commitment of all levels of DirectConnect to UCF partner institutions. Faculty members focus on course learning outcomes, pedagogy, and assessment. Educational advisers have the most interactions with students. They help direct students to the right courses that will allow them to complete their degree programs.
â€œThe CA initiative is gaining popularity and recognition because we approach this work with transparency and fairness,â€ said Harrison Oonge, Associate Dean at the College of Undergraduate Studies. â€œWe do not label DirectConnect to UCF students as ‘mine’ or ‘yours’. They are “ours”.
To learn more, visit CA initiative web page.