At least one-third of all college students transfer to another institution before earning a degree, a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows.
That includes 5,000 students who are in or move between Nebraska's 16 public colleges and universities.
Education leaders are hoping to remove some of the uncertainty attached to transferring by giving students access to a searchable database of more than 64,400 course equivalencies among the University of Nebraska, state colleges, community colleges and tribal colleges and more than 4,000 other institutions nationwide.
Susan Fritz, the executive vice president and provost of NU, told the Board of Regents Friday that Transfer Nebraska, which went live on Monday, was created after 10 months of collaboration among the state's higher learning institutes.
“The primary goal of the project was to increase student access to transfer credit information,” Fritz said.
The Web portal at transfer.nebraska.edu can be used by students in various ways, said Gabrielle Banick, the assistant vice president for P-16 initiatives. The site was developed through P-16 Initiative funding.
Searches can be done by institution or subject area, while contact information is made readily available for students with more questions about the process or a class listing.
College students can use the site to find classes being offered elsewhere in an effort to complete their degrees on time or early, she said. Adults who want to go back to college can use the database to chart a path to their degrees.
Meanwhile, high school students can use the service in a similar way when planning for college.
Courses not listed on the site do not necessarily mean they do not have transfer equivalency, Banick added. As Transfer Nebraska moves forward, she expects it to continue growing.
“We are asking students to submit courses to their respective institutions for evaluation,” she said.
Stan Carpenter, chancellor of the Nebraska State College System, said the Web-based transfer program will improve the economic future of the state by improving education outcomes.
“Transfer Nebraska is now live and ready to help students plan their future, become successful in the workforce, and grow into productive and engaged citizens across Nebraska,” he said.
Nebraska Community College Association executive director Dennis Baack said the website will put information at students’ fingertips and make transferring easier.
Transfer Nebraska was introduced as the Legislature considers a bill that would create a committee of representatives from each of the state’s public colleges and universities to develop broad credit transfer programs.
Introduced by Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk, the bill (LB54) would launch the Nebraska Transfer Initiative to develop “common core curriculum” aimed at improving access between various public higher education institutions.
Fritz testified during a committee hearing on LB54, saying the Transfer Nebraska program was well received by senators.