SALT LAKE CITY – Western Governors University (WGU) has been named by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) as one of 150 colleges and universities on its 2021 Transfer Honor Roll. The annual program, which is made possible by grant funding from The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, recognizes four-year institutions that have developed transfer pathways that lead to excellence and success among community college transfer students.
Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, WGU—an online, nonprofit university—has formed partnerships with more than 500 community colleges across the country to establish transfer pathways, offer tuition discounts, and dedicate scholarship funding for community college graduates transferring into WGU. In 2020 alone, more than 18,000 students from community colleges transferred into WGU, which awarded more than $850,000 in scholarship funding to them.
“It’s an honor to be included on Phi Theta Kappa’s Transfer Honor Roll, and validation for the work we’ve done to build relationships and articulation agreements with community colleges in more than 30 states,” said Spencer Stewart, WGU’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. “Community colleges provide pathways to opportunities for millions of Americans, and we’re proud that WGU is so often the next step on that pathway for community college graduates.”
Colleges are selected for the Transfer Honor Roll based on their Transfer Friendliness Rating, which is determined by the profile they create in PTK Connect—Phi Theta Kappa’s free online tool that helps students find their best-fit colleges, career pathways, and more. Students can search for colleges by name, scholarship offerings, or cost, and use the institutions’ profiles to help evaluate four-year colleges and universities as they determine their best transfer options.
“The Transfer Honor Roll reflects the growing importance of recognizing and responding to the needs of transfer students,” said Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “This award is given to four-year colleges and universities with proven outcomes for transfer success. They are the best at providing a supportive and smooth transition from community college—equating to increased rates of bachelor’s degree attainment for transfer students.”
To utilize PTK Connect, four-year institutions must complete a Transfer Profile, which asks questions about admissions practices, cost of attendance, campus life, recruitment practices, and peer reviews. The profile immediately gives colleges a Transfer Friendliness Rating they can use internally to gauge how friendly their admissions and recruitment strategies are. The top 25 percent highest-rated colleges are named to the Transfer Honor Roll.
“The Transfer Friendliness Rating is a great resource for students preparing to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program, but it’s an equally valuable tool for internal use by colleges and universities as they evaluate admissions and recruitment practices to create new strategies that better support the transfer student population,” Stewart said. “As more community college grads prepare to upskill for post-pandemic career opportunities, tools like this will be critical in helping them find four-year degree programs that best fit their needs.”
About Phi Theta Kappa.
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at ptk.org.