ALAMOSA— Adams State University becomes the first institution in Colorado to join the Interstate Passport Network (IPN), a nationwide network of two- and four-year colleges and universities that allows students to transfer lower division general education credits as a block to any IPN member institution. With Adams State’s membership, the network consists of 31 institutions across 13 states.
For decades, the complexities for students transferring colleges have been daunting and persistent: each course being transferred must be linked, one at a time, with an equivalent course at the new school. This painstaking process costs colleges and students time and money. Students frequently lose credit for courses that do not transfer as expected or have to retake similar courses to fulfill slightly different requirements at the new college. When dealing with the extra time and expense, too many students—especially low-income and first-generation students—get discouraged and give up on college.
Interstate Passport’s block transfer program is based on a set of learning outcomes, rather than individual courses. Students who complete their institution’s designated set of lower-division general education coursework earn a “Passport”: assuring that this coursework will be accepted as completion of general education at all IPN member institutions and minimizing the uncertainty that often accompanies a student’s transfer to a new institution, especially one in a different state.
Interstate Passport is administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) a regional higher education compact serving Colorado and 15 other state and territorial members in the American West.
“Adams State University sees tremendous benefits and advantages to the Interstate Passport, and we are excited to be the first institution in Colorado to become a member,” said Cheryl D. Lovell, president of Adams State. “We are also very excited to provide additional ways to serve students, especially historically under-served populations, by providing a seamless transfer option into one of our high-quality undergraduate programs.”
“We are delighted to welcome Adam State University to the Interstate Passport Network,” said Anna Galas, director of academic leadership initiatives at WICHE. “As the first institution from the state of Colorado, the Interstate Passport Network will now be serving students in 13 different states across the nation. Since Interstate Passport launched in 2016, member institutions have awarded over 25,500 Passports. Students who earn a Passport and transfer to another member institution know in advance that their lower-division general education requirements will be met. As the Interstate Passport Network continues to grow, we expect to see more transfer students motivated to complete their degrees.”
In today’s increasingly mobile society, more and more students transfer multiple times during their academic careers. According to the National Student Clearinghouse’s Signature Report 15 published in 2018, nearly four in 10 students transfer during their college career, and more than one in four of those move to schools in different states. That means that nationwide, hundreds of thousands of students stand to benefit from the Interstate Passport Network once it is fully implemented.
For more information, visit the Interstate Passport website, interstatepassport.wiche.edu/