Catalyzing Transfer Initiative (CTI)


In 2021, ECMC Foundation launched a $4.5 million grant investment, the Catalyzing Transfer Initiative. CTI is a national effort among five high-impact nonprofit organizations that are working to increase the credit transfer and timely bachelor degree completion among marginalized racial and ethnic groups.

Collectively, these efforts can influence multiple aspects of transfer reform, including accountability, funding, data, and governance structures. The following grantees complement one another but work separately, taking unique approaches to improve transfer pathways for students:

  • American Association of Community Colleges (AACC): The Equity Transfer Initiative expands and/or establishes equity-based transfer pathways between pairs of two- and four-year institutions in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
  • Education Commission of the States (ECS): Identifying Opportunities in the Transfer Policy and Practice Reform Space is scanning the national landscape of transfer reform efforts, priorities, and outcomes. It will incorporate its findings into the planning and early development of a National Transfer Network.
  • Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP): Transfer BOOST (Bachelor's Opportunity Options that are Straightforward and Transparent) is working with three states—Arizona, Illinois and Virginia—to declare commitments to transfer success, invest in students and institutions, and track outcomes transparently. The goals are to accelerate improvements in transfer and to deliver affordable, equitable degree pathways for students.
  • State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO): Transfer Policy Standards for Equitable Attainment is helping four states—Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington—develop and adopt state- and system-wide transfer standards that increase equitable outcomes in transfer and in degree attainment. The goal is to engage college and system leaders and policymakers to develop and implement analytical tools and action plans that boost the progression of transfer students. The project is a partnership with the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
  • Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE): Interstate Passport® (WICHE) is enrolling 20 new institutions, including at least 10 minority-serving institutions, into the Interstate Passport® Network. Passport is a national network of institutions and states that agree to accept block transfer of lower-division general education attainment (Passports) based on student learning outcomes, rather than on specific courses and credits. Network members also agree to award Passports to their own students who achieve those general education learning outcomes.


ECMC Foundation, American Association of Community Colleges, Education Commission of the States, Institute for Higher Education Policy, State Higher Education Executive Offices Association, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education


Catalyzing Transfer Initiative | ECMC Foundation

Catalyzing Transfer Initiative Report (2021) - PDF

Transfer and Credit Mobility Initiative | ECMC Foundation

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