Dawson Community College Recognized for Promoting Transfer Students’ Success

The U.S. Department of Education hosted a summit on November 9, 2023 at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) in Annadale, Virginia as part of its Raise the Bar: Attaining College Experience and Equity Initiative. There were 200 higher education leaders in attendance who are working toward a goal of making it easier for students to transfer from one college to another, saving them both time and money. In addition to this summit, U.S. Department of Education has published new data that showcases two-year and four-year institutions that are best at promoting transfer students’ success and partnerships between community colleges and bachelors’ degree institutions in the country. Dawson Community College was recognized as having the highest transfer-out rate for Title IV students in Montana.

According to a recent press release published by the U.S. Department of Education, “The difficulty students face in transferring between colleges is one of the most significant obstacles to helping many more students earn college degrees. While nearly 40% of students transfer at some point along their postsecondary journeys, they lose more than 40% of their credits on average when they move between schools. This costs the students time, money, and too often the credentials they seek to earn.”

Community colleges are an important segway to a four-year institution for many students. This has been found to be particularly true for students of color and students who may come from a lower income household. The Biden-Harris Administration is meeting with college presidents and reporting on strategies to increase diversity and support for community college transfer students.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, had this to say, “If we want to Raise the Bar for educational attainment in this country and create more equitable outcomes in higher education, then we need leaders to dramatically level up their support for transfer students.” Cardona continued by saying that, “Our current higher education system stacks the deck against community college students who aspire to earn four-year degrees – denying acceptance of their credits, forcing them to retake courses, and ultimately making their educational journeys longer and tougher than they need to be.”

The summit that was held earlier this month included teams of institutional and state representatives from 11 states, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The participants all made commitments to improve the transfer process to promote students’ success. The Raise the Bar: Attaining College Excellence and Equity Initiative is an ongoing effort, and a summit will be held next year as well to, “address holistic advising and wraparound services and career-relevant learning pathways in order to help more institutions increase completion rates, close competition gaps, and ensure all students are earning completions of value that lead to economic opportunity,” per the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

For more information, please visit this article or contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Press Office at (202) 401-1576 or

About Dawson Community College

Located on 300 acres in Glendive, MT, Dawson Community College (DCC) is a comprehensive academic community committed to providing affordable and open access to quality teaching and learning. Founded in 1940, Dawson Community College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees that prepare learners for transition to and success in further degree programs. Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare learners for vocational and technical career entry, transition, and advancement. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.