Anti-Racism: CTC is committed to advancing anti-racist policies and ideas in all areas of higher education and within our organization. It is important that we as a community be explicit about our shared values and beliefs because no one should have to guess whether their leaders and colleagues see and condemn historical and ongoing racism. To read more about CTC’s commitment to anti-racism and racial justice, please visit this page.

Check out our latest Tool releases: CTC's Academic Standing Toolkit and the Classroom Practices Library are now available on the Tools & Resources menu!

The College Transition Collaborative

CTC bridges research and practice to help colleges create learning environments that foster equitable student engagement and success. Our work helps schools understand how their students experience moments of transition or difficulty, and how psychologically attuned practices–messages, policies, behaviors, and programs–can convey to all students they are valued, respected, and can excel.

What's new with CTC?


Now Live! Academic Standing Toolkit:
CTC has launched the online course 'How You Say It Matters: A Toolkit for Improving Communications about Academic Standing’ to help administrators write their own psychologically attuned academic standing notification. Click here to learn more and register for the course.

CTC received a two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct an early phase assessment of faculty and counselor mindset beliefs in community colleges, and how they predict faculty attitudes and teaching practices, counselor communications, and student experiences and outcomes. CTC will utilize these findings to adapt and expand its existing professional development resources and tools for community college faculty and counselors.

Follow Us!

You can now follow along with CTC’s work on Twitter at @CTCorg and on Facebook at @CollegeTransitionCollab to learn more about CTC’s mission, vision, the context in which we work, the projects in which we’re involved, and the progress we’re making as we strive to advance equity for students in higher education.

Millions of students begin college but never graduate.

Completion rates are especially low for students from structurally disadvantaged backgrounds, including students of color, low-income students, and first-generation college-goers. Research shows that the disparity in outcomes is partially attributable to how students make meaning of challenges and setbacks, based on many factors including lived experiences of inequity, the visible under-representation of others like them, and the messages sent by their environment.

CTC bridges research and practice to help more students reach their fullest potential.

How We Work

Rigorous R&D

We select areas of research based on school and student needs, ground our work in scientific theory, and rigorously assess everything we create across diverse contexts.

Collaborative Partnerships

We partner with researchers, administrators, educators, and practitioners across the higher education community to ensure the greatest potential for positive student impact.

Accessible Resources

We create evidence-based, cost-effective, and user-friendly tools and resources supporting practitioners to implement more psychologically attuned practices across the college journey.

Where We Focus

Sample Moments of Psychological Uncertainty Throughout College

  • Before College

    Do admissions messages convey to students that diverse students are valued on campus and that students can grow to belong in the college community and succeed?

  • Transition Into College

    Do welcome messages communicate that diverse kinds of students belong? Do messages around placement tests lead students to feel like they can succeed?

    CTC Project: Social-Belonging

  • "Sophomore Slump"

    How do gateway courses impact students' feelings of belonging or academic potential?

    How do psychological factors during college influence student success, persistence and degree completion?

    CTC Project: Student Experience

  • Throughout College

    How can schools help to foster positive intergroup relationships? How can schools foster the development of more diverse social networks?

  • Points of Difficulty

    Do communications about remedial coursework lead students to feel "dumb"? Do communications about academic setbacks communicate that faculty and the college care about their success and believe they can improve? Do communications about discipline infractions lead students feel like they don’t belong in college or can’t succeed?

    CTC Project: Academic Standing

  • Transition Out of College

    Do messages from career centers help students identify normal challenges in navigating the job market post college and finding a career path? Do messages about financial aid in and after college communicate warmth and support to low-income students?

Our Impact

students reached by CTC-designed programs and practices
colleges and universities implementing CTC-designed programs and practices
up to 40%
reduction in achievement gap

One of the things that’s really difficult when you’re on the ground in an institution is to do this work and know it’s working. To know what we’re doing has solid research behind it is priceless.

- Administrator at CTC Partner School

I know that maybe there will be rough patches in my transition to college life, but like with all newly introduced things, I will adjust and become comfortable. I'll learn from my mistakes and focus on the positive opportunities and experiences college life brings...I am confident I will eventually feel at home like many of the other college students and alumni before me.

- Student Response from CTC Program