Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities Receives Grant to Accelerate Transfer Student Success

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Helios Education Foundation granted the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities $1,250,000 to accelerate transfer student success initiatives that lead to degree completion at Florida International University (FIU), the University of Central Florida (UCF), and the University of South Florida (USF). 

Many Floridians start their post-secondary education at one of 28 state colleges in Florida and transfer to a university to complete their degree. Too often, those transfer students fall short of degree completion, as they encounter challenges with course alignment and a lack of student support structures that proved successful at the state college level. “The impact of starting but not completing a degree disproportionately impacts first-generation and minority students, precisely those students who benefit the most from a college degree,” said Dr. Michael Preston, Executive Director, Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities. 

While Florida is a model in the nation for 2+2 articulation, the impact of “transfer shock” suppresses degree completion statewide. With grant funding from Helios Education Foundation, Consortium members FIU, UCF, and USF will invest in campus-centric initiatives aimed at ensuring transfer students are prepared academically and socially to flourish on a university campus. “Helios believes a high-quality education should be within reach of every student. Ensuring students experience a smooth transition between Florida’s state colleges and universities is essential to student success and degree completion,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.  

Informing this work are insights from the Central Florida Education Ecosystem Database (CFEED) that leverages data science and predictive analytics to identify interventions that amplify student success. Each university has identified hurdles unique to their metropolitan regions, from admissions to course sequencing to clearly outlining a pathway to completion.

The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities and Helios Education Foundation have partnered since 2016 to elevate the success and degree completion of first-generation, minority, and underserved students in the most populous metropolitan regions of South Florida, Central Florida, and Tampa Bay.