Transfer students make up approximately one third of the UNI new student class each year, and just over 70% of those transfer students come from Iowa community colleges. Community colleges provide pipelines for academic programs in high-demand fields, including over 40% of UNI students in Department of Technology majors. The strong majority of students in these high-demand fields stay in Iowa after graduation, including all 2018 UNI graduates in advanced manufacturing, electrical engineering technology, graphic technologies, and manufacturing design.
Recognizing the importance of transfer students to UNI and the Iowa workforce, campus leaders have increased outreach to community colleges. Recent initiatives designed to build transfer pipelines include:
- Targeted program development meetings between community college and UNI faculty members.
- Large-scale UNI Day events that bring UNI advisors, faculty, and resources to community college campuses.
- Professional development workshops for community college advisors who work with students in technology and liberal arts transfer programs.
Jenny Becker, UNI social work faculty member, has been among those working to build and strengthen relationships with community college partners. Approximately 46% of UNI social work majors are transfer students, and over 90% stay in Iowa for employment after graduation. Jenny Becker shared that “... Iowa’s community colleges have welcomed me into their classrooms, partnered with our department on creating transfer plans of study, and created space for me to meet with students individually as they prepare for transfer.” These early connections between UNI faculty and community college partners create more seamless transfer experiences for students as they transition to UNI academic programs.