Good News: Strong 4-Year Grad Rates For Community College Transferees

Good News: Strong 4-Year Grad Rates For Community College Transferees
  • Opening Intro -

    Community colleges, also known as technical colleges and junior colleges, provide access to higher education for millions of students.

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Many students attend such schools to seek a certificate or an associate degree, but a significant number of college students transfer to four-year schools in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

NSC Signature Report

That pursuit has come under scrutiny in recent years with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) releasing a report this week that outlined how these students are performing. The NSC’s Signature Report has found that fully 60 percent of community college to four-year college transferees are obtaining their bachelor’s degrees.

The NSC tracked students that transferred in the 2005 to 2006 academic year to four-year institutions. Within six years, 60 percent of transferees obtained a bachelor’s degree with another eight percent still working on their degrees. The lengthy education pursuit of many students has much to do with those that are working full-time and attending classes at night, on weekends, online or a combination of all three.

Participating Colleges and Universities

The NSC compiled data from more than 3,500 participating colleges and universities, covering approximately 98 percent of students enrolled at nonprofit postsecondary institutions. The report noted that most transferees make the move before obtaining an associate degree, but researchers discovered that those that had the degree in hand were more likely to complete their bachelor’s degree than those that did not.

Students transferring to a public university had a high completion rate than those that transferred to a private university, 65 to 60 percent. Moreover, those students that immediately began pursuit of a bachelor’s degree were much more likely to attain their goals than those that stopped attending college for at least a year.

Challenges for Transferees

Transferring to a four-year college from a community college does not come without challenges. The success rate for such transferees is much higher for those that attend college full-time than those that attend part-time. Full-time transferees have an 83 percent success rate in obtaining a degree while those attending part-time have a 24.8 percent success rate. Those that fall in the middle area — just shy of full-time — have a 62.1 percent graduation rate.

One statistic that should serve notice about the dedication of transfer students is as follows: while 63.2 percent of students that begin their higher education at a four-year school eventually attain their bachelor’s degree, the success rate for two-year transfer students comes in higher at 73.5 percent.

Pathways to Success

The NSC bills itself as “the leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 700 million verification requests and 250 million education record exchanges annually.” Said Dr. Doug Shapiro, NSC Executive Director, “The results will help students, institutions and policymakers to better understand the different pathways to college success. The majority of students who transfer from a two‐year to a four‐year institution are successful, but pre‐transfer degrees, destination institutions, timing of transfer, and enrollment intensity are all important factors in completion.”

See Also One in Three College Students Transfer Report Says

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