A woman smiling outside for the Transfer Summit Pathway

Friday, May 17, 2024
Alumni Hall
4227 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (View Map)

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education and Office of the Provost invite you to the 2024 Transfer Pathways Summit. The summit theme is “Building Bridges and Facilitating Student Mobility.”

The event will bring together hundreds of two- and four-year higher education practitioners, scholars, and students from across Pennsylvania. The goal is to bolster transfer-friendly practices into four-year institutions for community college students.

Summit Overview

About the Event

The School of Education, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, invites you to consider strategies, develop initiatives, and build relationships that can effectively foster a culture of transfer to four-year institutions.

Our inaugural Transfer Pathways Summit offers opportunities to engage in conversations on trends, promising practices, and action steps that support successful student transitions to further education and gainful employment.

View Summit Overview 1-pager

Who Should Attend

  • Community college leaders (e.g. Presidents, Senior Staff, Directors)
  • Community college practitioners
  • Community college students
  • College faculty focused on study of higher education systems
  • Academic advisors
  • Admissions staff
  • Graduate students


  • There is no cost to attend the event

Schedule at a Glance


8 – 9 a.m.


Breakfast & Check-in




9:00 – 9:15 a.m.


Welcome/Opening Remarks
Dr. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher




9:00 – 9:15 a.m.


Dr. Amanda Godley




9:15 – 10:00 a.m.


Welcome Address/Keynote
Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan




10:15 – 11:15 a.m.


Plenary Session




11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Breakout Session #1


Room 121 and Room 323


12:30 – 1:30 p.m.


Lunch Keynote
Dr. Linda Garcia




1:45 – 2:45 p.m.


Breakout Session #2


Room 121 and Room 323


3 – 4 p.m.


Student Panel Discussion




4:15 – 5 p.m.


Closing Keynote
Dr. Carrie B. Kisker


5 – 5:30 p.m.


Wrap-Up/Closing Remarks
Marc Harding


Keynote Speakers

Linda Garcia

Dr. Linda L. García
Executive Director,
Center for Community College Student Engagement,
University of Texas, Austin

View full bio

Carrie Kisker

Dr. Carrie B. Kisker
President, Kisker Education Consulting Group
Director, Center for the Study of Community Colleges

View full bio

Frankie Santos Laanan

Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan
Dean of the College of Education
University of Utah

View full bio

Keynote Descriptions

Time: 9 – 10 a.m.

Location: Alumni Hall Ballroom

Speaker: Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan, Dean of the College of Education, University of Utah

Title: Supporting Transfer Student Success: Critical Framework for Transfer Student Research Revisited

Description: As someone who’s benefited from American community colleges and journeyed through multiple institutions as both a vertical, horizontal, and reverse transfer student, Dr. Laanan reflects on three decades of his research regarding transfer students and the role of community colleges in shaping individuals and society. This session delves into questions like: How is Transfer Student Capital nurtured and developed? What are students’ narratives of their transfer journey and post-transfer success? How can colleges and universities foster a “transfer sending culture” and a “transfer receptive culture”? The discussion also explores implications for policy, practice, and future research in this area.

Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Alumni Hall Ballroom

Presenter: Dr. Linda Garcia, Executive Director, Center for Community College Student Engagement, University of Texas, Austin

Title: “Helping Community College Students Climb the Transfer Ladder”

Description: Many community colleges have worked diligently to incorporate and increase transfer advising services and to form transfer partnerships with four-year colleges and universities. Even though many community college students intend to transfer, the process can still be a challenging one to navigate alone. Students are often met with complex articulation agreements and confusing website information to make sense of without guidance. And, students often find that many of the credits they have accrued at the community college won’t transfer. Hear about what helps students know more about transfer plans from a CCCSE national report.

Time: 4:15 – 5 p.m.

Location: Alumni Hall Ballroom

Speaker: Dr. Carrie Kisker, President, Kisker Education Consulting Group and Director, Center for the Study of Community Colleges

Title: “Addressing the Wicked Problems of Transfer Reform”

Description: In this keynote presentation, Dr. Kisker will describe the historical and contemporary reasons why improving community college-to-university transfer and articulation can be so difficult, why it is considered one of the wicked problems of higher education reform. She will then engage the audience in a conversation about how we can overcome these hurdles and better serve students without betraying the fundamental values upon which our system rests.

Plenary Session

“Community College Transfer and Transition at Pitt”

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.
Alumni Hall Ballroom

The University of Pittsburgh, through the Transfer Advisory Board and the Transfer Student Support Committee, is enhancing its support of community college transfer and transition. The Transfer Tool allows prospective transfer students nationwide to see which credits will count towards a Pitt degree. The Transfer Center and Team assists transfer students as they apply for admission to Pitt. The  Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences in collaboration with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Transfer Team is looking for ways to increase transfer pathways for Pennsylvania community college students. The Swanson School of Engineering provides an extended transfer student orientation program.


Office of Provost
  • Stephanie Hoogendoorn, Director of Academic Affairs, Office of the Provost
Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Therese Grimes, Director of Transfer Initiatives, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
  • DeLane Crutcher, Associate Director of Transfer Initiatives, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences
  • Maria Schockling, Senior Academic Administrator, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences
  • Erin Mehta, Senior Academic Administrator, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences

Breakout Sessions

Morning (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

Breakout A

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Room 121

Title: Promoting Post-Secondary Pathways Through High-Quality, Equity, and Collaboration in Dual Enrollment

Presenters: Dr. Esohe Osai, Assistant Professor and Director of Justice Scholars Institute at the School of Education, and Dr. Michael Giazzoni, Director of College in High School Program, University of Pittsburgh

Description: High-quality dual enrollment (DE) programs are an evidence-proven and equitable way to give high school students convenient access to college credits at a low cost. Though DE is an evidence-based practice that supports post-secondary pathways, opportunities are inequitable because Black and low-income high school students have less access to advanced course-taking experiences. Our presentation describes high-quality DE in Pennsylvania before highlighting an equity-centered partnership to support post-secondary pathways for youth in underserved high schools. This unique and promising collaboration supports enhanced educational experiences and clearer post-secondary pathways for youth in our region.

Breakout B

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Room 323

Title: “Lessons Learned for Building Equitable Community College Transfer Pathways”

Presenters: Dr. Raina Dyer-Barr, Director for Community College Research and Engagement, School of Education; Jason Keist, Adult and Learning Workforce Research Manager, School of Education; Brett Visger, Director of Pathways Strategy and Research, School of Education;  and Dr. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Renée and Richard Goldman Dean

Description: Building transfer pathways should incorporate a variety of options. As more students, employers and community colleges strengthen certificate and certification programs, it is critical to ensure that these programs which are often oversampled with Black and brown students have pathways to associate and bachelor degrees. Building seamless and more equitable pathways is possible but requires purposeful effort from college leaders. The University of Pittsburgh School of Education is playing a leading role in two national initiatives to purposefully build these pathways that ensure that no learning is wasted; certificates can articulate to associate degrees, which in turn can transfer to bachelors degrees. This session will highlight lessons learned from the Lumina Foundation funded REACH (Racial Equity for Adult Credentialing in Higher Ed) and Gates funded DCTP (Dual Customer Training Program) and offer suggestions to consider how these sorts approaches can improve transfer pathways.

Afternoon (1:45 - 2:45 p.m.)

Breakout A

Time: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Location: Room 121

Title: Transforming Transfer Opportunities in Pennsylvania

Presenter: Lynette Kuhn, Chief of the Division of Higher Education, Access, and Equity, Pennsylvania Department of Education

Description: This presentation will discuss the efforts of Pennsylvania’s Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee, exploring ongoing research aimed at revolutionizing the transfer process to ensure equitable and streamlined transfer opportunities. In her current role, Lynette uses her 18 years of experience in higher-education administration in the oversight of state authorization processes for degree-granting institutions. Previously, she has worked as a career school administrator, overseeing the compliance and accreditation of six institutions in three different states. Lynette holds a Master of Education in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society with an emphasis in labor employment and relations, both from Penn State University. She is currently in the process of completing her Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Administration. Lynette enjoys working with school leaders and regulators to ensure learners have access to and receive quality education.

Breakout B

Time: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Location: Room 323

Title: Building Transfer Pathways for Honors Students: A Case Study from the David C. Frederick Honors College

Presenters: Nicola Foote, Dean, David C. Frederick Honors College, University of Pittsburgh, and Matthew Schultz, Director of Admissions, David C. Frederick Honors College, University of Pittsburgh

Description: In this presentation, we discuss strategies for building Honors-to-Honors pathways for transfer partnerships, using the example of work under way to connect the David C. Frederick Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh with Honors Programs in local community college systems. In particular, we focus on endowment-supported financial aid as a core strategy for partnership build, documenting how the expansion of Pitt’s Honors College’s endowment via a naming gift is being used to anchor transfer recruitment. We also discuss strategies being implemented to create a transfer-receptive culture within the FHC, including transfer orientation programs, and peer-mentoring networks

Student Voices Panel

“Perspectives of Navigating Post-secondary Pathways”

3 – 4 p.m.
Alumni Hall Ballroom

The Transfer Student Voices Panel amplifies the voices of students who have transferred to Pitt from community colleges and other 4-year institutions. Hosted by the University Educational Outreach Center (EOC), the Panel will illuminate the transfer experience through the lens of students, shedding light on their journey and discussing effective strategies to support transfers as they navigate and acclimate to a new campus environment.


  • Anika Jones, Senior Program Coordinator, Educational Outreach Center, University of Pittsburgh


  • 2 students from Community College of Allegheny County
  • 1 student from James Madison University
  • 1 student from American University
  • 1 student from Lehigh University

Pitt Wi-Fi Instructions

Visitors to the University of Pittsburgh participating in the summit have two options for guest Wi-Fi access:

  • Eduroam Guest Wi-Fi is the best option for visitors from UPMC and other Eduroam-affiliated institutions. No time limits or additional device configuration required.
  • Pitt Guest Wi-Fi (Anyroam) provides access for alumni, parents, and others who do not have an Eduroam affiliation for up to one year. One-time device configuration is required after you arrive on campus.


Conference  Objectives

    • Facilitate networking and a platform for community college and four-year practitioners to connect to explore transfer options and build relationships.
    • Information sharing through breakout sessions, small group discussions, and keynote speaker presentations related to transfer receptive cultures, transfer process, accelerated pathways to postsecondary, etc.
    • Promote transfer opportunities and showcase the benefits of transferring to four-year institutions, such as access to additional academic resources, specialized programs, research opportunities, and career services.
    • Highlight the success stories of previous community college transfer students.
    • Address common concerns and challenges faced by community college students during the transfer process, such as transferring credits, adjusting to a new campus culture, and navigating financial barriers. Offer solutions and support services to mitigate these challenges.
    • Understanding student voice, representation, and empowering students to take ownership of their academic journey and transfer process by providing them with the information, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions and successfully transition to four-year institutions.
    • Promote a diverse and inclusive transfer community by encouraging active outreach, recruitment, and broadening participation from students of all backgrounds and providing support services for underrepresented groups, including first-generation college students, low-income students, students of color, and non-traditional students.

Hotel Accommodations

Campus fall season overlooking Fifth Avenue with Cathedral

Three hotels are located within walking distance to the venue:


Paid parking is available at the University’s Solider & Sailors Garage at 4390 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh PA, 15213.  The garage is located a block away from the venue.

Additional paid parking is available on metered spaces on Fifth Avenue and the surrounding streets.


For questions or more information, please contact Megan Brennan at meb201@pitt.edu.

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