Foundations of Excellence® Transfer Focus


Four-Year Institutions

The Gardner Institute is pleased to announce a new Foundations of Excellence self-study and action-planning process that addresses collegiate transfer. This self-study process was developed because of significant demand from present and prospective institutional participants. FoE Transfer Focus is designed to help institutions evaluate the ways they facilitate the experience of this important, but often neglected, student cohort. The Transfer Focus was piloted by eight four-year institutions in 2009.

Betsy Barefoot, VP & Senior Scholar, suggests some reasons why four-year institutions should consider a focus on incoming transfer students.


Two-Year Institutions

Beginning in 2010, the Gardner Institute will offer two-year institutions an adapted version of Foundations of Excellence (FoE) that will give them the opportunity to evaluate their approach to serving transfer-bound students.  For many two-year colleges, encouraging and supporting student transfer are essential functions that relate to the institutional mission and vision.  This process will enable institutions to take a close look at their strengths and weaknesses in assisting transfers and to make plans for improvement. The pilot two-year version of the Transfer Focus will be included in the fee structure for all new institutions that participate in the FoE First-Year self study.

Betsy Barefoot, VP & Senior Scholar, suggests some reasons why two-year institutions should consider a focus on transfer-bound students.


Discount pricing is available to former FoE participating institutions, click here for more information.

The Foundations of Excellence Transfer Process includes the following:

  • Foundational Dimensions® related to collegiate transfer. The nine Foundational Dimensions, originally designed as principles for first-year excellence, have been adapted to include a focus on transfers. These Dimensions are in the public domain.

  • The Current Practices Inventory (CPI), an audit process for data collection and analysis of information regarding transfer structures and policies as well as data on transfer students.

  • Surveys of faculty/staff and transfer students to determine their perceptions of institutional service to transfers. Survey participation is optional for former FoE institutions.

  • Specific performance indicators (scaled questions) that break down the nine aspirational Dimensions into manageable components for easier evaluation. The performance indicators are targeted to various elements of the transfer experience, such as learning in the major, support for transition, academic advising, and communication between sending and receiving institutions.

  • FoEtec®, the electronic platform that enables recording and analysis of all data as well as preparation and sharing of intermediate and final reports with other members of the campus community and project partners in the Gardner Institute.

  • Support and feedback from a Gardner Institute Advisor on all aspects of the self study and action plan.

Click here to apply.


For more information about the transfer component of Foundations of Excellence, contact the Gardner Institute (