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Bemidji State University joins national conversation on transfer student success

Bemidji State University will be one of 30 institutions across the country to participate in an inaugural, one-year conversation on how to best support transfer students as part of the Aspen-AASCU Intensive: Transfer Student Success and Equity Project.

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BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State University will be one of 30 institutions across the country to participate in an inaugural, one-year conversation on how to best support transfer students as part of the Aspen-AASCU Intensive: Transfer Student Success and Equity Project.

According to a release from BSU, founded by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities , the project will include two cohorts for the 2021-2022 school year.

To advance student success and transfer practices between two-year and four-year institutions, BSU will partner closely with the Northeast Higher Education District , a collective of five two-year colleges within the Minnesota System of colleges and universities until the intensive ends on Oct. 27 of next year.

"Bemidji State is committed to equitable college transfer credit outcomes for all students," Director of Transfer Operations Bonner Karger said in the release.

Pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission and Minnesota State Board of Trustees , the Northeast Higher Education District will be rebranded as Minnesota North Colleges.

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"The Aspen-AASCU project will enhance the existing partnership between BSU and the Minnesota North Colleges, and help us develop services and programs that meet the unique educational and workforce needs of our northern Minnesota home," Karger added.

BSU President Faith Hensrud, Provost Allen Bedford, Transfer Partnership Coordinator Dan Voss and Karger attended the first Aspen-AASCU intensive meeting held Nov. 18.

"Participating in the transfer intensive with our workshop partners at the Minnesota North Colleges allows us to focus both top leadership and transfer team attention on how BSU and Minnesota North can work together to better meet the needs of the widely spread out regions we serve," Bedford said in the release.

Voss explained that transfer students face numerous real and perceived barriers within the transfer process and that this intensive will be a good opportunity to increase transfer student support starting with the pilot cohorts.

Bedford added, "BSU will be better able to understand what people in and near these communities need and how academic offerings at the community college and university level can align to meet those needs. I am excited about the impact this alignment will have in the lives of those we serve and on meeting the statewide 2025 Education Attainment Goal ."

This goal comes after 2015 Minnesota legislation with the goal of 70% of Minnesota adults ages 25 to 44 attaining a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2025.

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