DAHLONEGA - The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS), which strives to increase access to and attainment of higher education by promoting successful transfer for college and university students, is moving next month to Georgia.
The Complete College Georgia plan, a state initiative to encourage students to pursue higher education as a means to prepare Georgia's future workforce, notes that 41 percent of community college students nationwide transfer to four-year institutions and about one-third of all college seniors have transferred at some point during their college career. Articulation agreements and transfer practices provide students with opportunities for transitioning within and across systems of higher education.
NISTS, founded in 2002 at the University of North Texas, will be housed at North Georgia College & State University, which will be consolidating in January 2013 with Gainesville State College to become the University of North Georgia.
"Increasing access to higher education and college completion are high priorities for Georgia and NISTS will be a valuable resource as we seek ways to help students achieve their goals," said Bonita C. Jacobs, president of North Georgia College & State University.
In 2004, Jacobs co-authored, The College Transfer Student in America: The Forgotten Student, which was published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
"NISTS's national focus on creating smoother pathways for transfer students complements the transfer-related initiatives being put forward in the Complete College Georgia agenda," said Dr. Lynne Weisenbach, the USG's vice chancellor for educational access and success.
NISTS informs and improves transfer policy and practice by bringing together individuals, two-and four-year institutions, state agencies, higher education associations and foundations, and other interested entities to study the issues related to the transfer process so as to facilitate student success and degree completion.
"The mission of NISTS fits well with the goals of Complete College Georgia, as we seek to increase access to higher education and help students successfully complete college," said Dr. Janet Marling, NISTS executive director.
Since its establishment, NISTS has earned numerous grants to support the center's research to understand the factors affecting transfer student success during the transition process, and its leaders have presented conferences throughout the United States and internationally. In September, NISTS is conducting the 2012 New York Transfer Summit, a one-day event that will bring together higher education professionals at eight sites across the state to discuss transfer student issues. NISTS held a similar event in Texas in 2009.
Marling will be relocating to Georgia to continue as the institute's executive director. As an affiliate member of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) board of directors, Marling was the lead content expert in the effort to develop the standards and recommendations for Transfer Student Programs and Services to be released in August. Also, she is the author of "Effective Orientation for Transfer Students: Establishing Pathways for Transfer Student Success."
Marling holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of North Texas, a M.S. in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a B.S. in psychology from Texas Christian University.