Office Hours with John Gardner graphic with John Gardner and Rusty Monhollon

Episode 53- Transfer Advocacy

Office Hours with John Gardner

Explore transfer student experiences in this episode with Rusty Monhollon. An advocate for student rights, Monholloon works towards improving transfer by learning what is best for students. Learn why we should reconsider how we deliver education and ideas for engaging with faculty and utilizing data to create change.

Guest Bio

Rusty Monhollon is President and Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. He began his duties on July 15, 2019.

Between 2011-2019, Monhollon was the Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. There he oversaw the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies related to academic programs, assessment of student success, and institutional performance. He led the Missouri Reverse Transfer Initiative, which resulted in more than 1,000 students receiving associate degrees. Monhollon also led the state’s efforts to implement best practices in remedial education, including the use of multiple measures for placement, gateway courses aligned to programs of study, alternative modes of delivering remedial education, and sending consistent messages of constitutes college readiness to high school students, among others. Between 2013-2019, the overall rate of remediation in Missouri declined by nearly 36 percent, and by 42 percent in mathematics. He also oversaw the Missouri Math Pathways Initiative, which was implemented in the fall of 2018 with 25 of 27 public institutions participating, and the state’s Corequisite at Scale effort, which included three-fourths of all public institutions. 

Monhollon also headed up the effort to implement a statewide core transfer curriculum known as CORE 42, which was implemented in the fall of 2018. The CORE 42 is a library of nearly 100 courses guaranteed to transfer course-for-course among all public institutions, which will result in fewer “wasted” credits and unnecessary credit hour accumulation, and will also include the development of appropriate academic maps aligned to CORE 42.  

Before joining the MDHE in 2009 as a Senior Associate, Monhollon was Associate Professor of History and Director for the Masters of Arts in Humanities program at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. He previously held appointments at Washburn University, Rockhurst University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, teaching courses in twentieth-century America, the 1960s, race and race relations, the civil rights movement, and American popular culture. His first book “This is America?”: The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas (Palgrave, 2002), received the Edward H. Tihen Publication Award from the Kansas State Historical Association, and was nominated for the Phi Alpha Theta Annual Book Award, both in 2003. He also the editor of Baby Boom: People and Perspectives, published by ABC-Clio in 2010. Additionally, Monhollon has published many articles and reviews and given numerous professional presentations. 

Prior to entering academia, Monhollon worked as a welder and machinist, and was the general manager of a custom steel fabrication shop. A native Kansan, Monhollon began taking college courses in the evening while working full-time and received his baccalaureate degree at Washburn University of Topeka, with a dual major in History and Political Science. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in History from the University of Kansas. He and his wife Sonja Erickson have four children and three grandchildren.

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