Staff representing more than 30 of Missouri’s higher education institutions gathered for the annual Committee on Transfer and Articulation (COTA) Conference on Wednesday in Osage Beach.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development hosted the conference – 2020 Vision: Seeing Transfer Clearly – which focused on building a mutual understanding throughout the state on accommodations and services for transfer students.

A series of speakers discussed key topics including degree completion, equity in higher education, credit for military learning, enrollment management as well as barriers for underrepresented students.

The conference opened with a keynote address from Leanne Davis, assistant director of applied research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Davis shared findings from Degrees When Due, a national initiative Missouri recently joined to learn and implement new strategies to reengage students with some college, but no degree. Davis said with approximately 36 million people in the U.S. with some college, but no degree, reengaging adults is crucial to the future of our nation and our workforce.

“We need to communicate the value of a degree. We need to know why students are dropping out, and we need to know how to get them to come back,” Davis said to conference attendees. “Know your data, and keep equity at the center.”

COTA also included sessions focused on sharing admissions processes and brainstorming solutions for eliminating policy barriers to help students transfer more efficiently.

More than 150 higher education professionals attend the annual Committee on Transfer and Articulation conference.