Nearly all students enter the California State University system intending to graduate “on time,” and graduation rates are increasing systemwide. Currently, less than a quarter of incoming freshmen graduate within four years and a third of community college transfer students graduate in two years. This study investigates the personal and institutional obstacles that students experience as they navigate through college on the pathway to timely graduation.
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Trial and Error: California Students Make the Best of an Improving Yet Complex Transfer Process
This report examines the policies and practices that support student transfer from the California Community Colleges to the California State University through perspectives of students, administrators, and staff.
From Community College to University: Expectations for California’s New Transfer Degrees
This report, written by IHELP for the Public Policy Institute of California, analyzes the progress of the California Community Colleges’ “associate degrees for transfer” that were created as a result of state-enacted legislation in 2010. The degrees are designed to facilitate community college students’ admission to the California State University system and ease completion of a bachelor’s degree. The report finds the reform is leading to the development of clearer transfer pathways for students, although challenges remain, and offers recommendations for improving the implementation effort. Click here for the technical appendix.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part IV: Aligning Policy with Mission for Better Outcomes
This report is the culmination of a four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. Based on a comprehensive analysis of potential barriers to more effective CTE, the report offers a set of suggestions for policy changes intended as a resource for the community college system as it continues to work to improve student success.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part III: Promising CTE Policies from Across the States
This report is the third in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. It examines policies in other states that might offer helpful lessons for shaping CTE in California to better meet student and employer needs. It provides examples in the following five policy areas: degree and certificate programs offered; curriculum structure and delivery; high school – community college – workplace pathways; financing CTE – college and student costs; and accountability.
Sense of Direction: The Importance of Helping Community College Students Select and Enter a Program of Study
This report examines the importance of declaring and entering an academic program of study for community college student success and completion. Researchers track an entering cohort of community college students over a six-year period through programs of study to completion of a certificate, associate degree or transfer to a university. The study used student course patterns to identify those who entered a program of study in 21 program areas across the liberal arts and sciences and career technical education, and found that entering a program of study is an important milestone on the path to college completion.
Crafting a Student-Centered Transfer Process in California: Lessons from Other States
his report tackles the difficult challenge of making transfer more comprehensible and less frustrating for California’s community college students. The study examines transfer policies of eight states, identifies some key dimensions of emerging policies, and offers recommendations for more student-centered transfer policies that would increase transfer success.
Effect of Racial/Ethnic Composition on Transfer Rates in Community Colleges: Implications for Policy and Practice
This article was published in the journal Research in Higher Education (vol. 45, no. 6).
Diminishing Access to the Baccalaureate through Transfer: The Impact of State Policies and Implications for California
This report discusses the reasons behind a narrowing transfer pathway from community colleges to universities in California. It raises questions policymakers should consider in targeting scarce resources to generate the best educational outcomes for Californians.
Capacity Constraints in California’s Public Universities: A Factor Impeding Transfer?
This report examines the issue of capacity constraints in California’s public universities, and whether limited capacity is a factor impeding the success of the community college transfer function.
California Community College Transfer Rates: Policy Implications and a Future Research Agenda
This statistical study identifies factors that explain observed differences in transfer rates among California’s community colleges.