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Private Higher Education
October 25, 2020

On Monday, October 19, 2020 the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations announced a partnership with the Teagle Foundation to address the academic obstacles that community college students face when trying to transfer to independent four-year colleges.

Four out of five community college students hope to earn a bachelor’s degree, but few are able to succeed by transferring to and graduating from a four-year institution. Transfer Pathways to the Liberal Arts, an initiative co-sponsored by AVDF and the Teagle Foundation, will provide planning grants of $25,000 over 6 to 12 months, and implementation grants ranging from $250,000-$350,000 over 24 to 36 months, to improve opportunities for students to transfer from two-year public institutions to four-year private liberal arts colleges. The grant program is focused on building comprehensive curricular frameworks between community colleges and independent colleges to ensure transferability and applicability of credits and timely completion of the baccalaureate in the liberal arts. Focusing on the academic dimension has a useful precedent in the public sector, on which independent colleges can base their own efforts by looking to curricular mechanisms to promote transfer that have been enacted as a matter of state policy. Teagle and AVDF collaboratively aim to invest in 20 states as part of an effort to scale transfer pathways to independent colleges nationally.

“We have a responsibility to close the gap between aspiration and reality for community college students who hope to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Andrew Delbanco, President of the Teagle Foundation. “By helping students reach and succeed on their campuses, liberal arts colleges can also help themselves. Community colleges are an under-tapped source for colleges facing enrollment challenges, and community college students bring a diversity of experience that enhances the educational community for everyone. The Teagle Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations on this important initiative.”

“Until now, public investment and private grantmaking in the transfer space have typically focused on strengthening pathways from public two-year to public four-year institutions, but there are untapped opportunities for strengthening transfer access to independent liberal arts colleges,” said Michael Murray, President of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. “This joint partnership between the Arthur Vining Davis and Teagle Foundations aims to address the academic obstacles that community college students face when transferring to independent colleges, which we believe will help alleviate some of the financial hurdles students face when they take the next step in their education to earn the baccalaureate degree.”

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