Community colleges’ low completion rates will more than double, if colleges are allowed to count students who transfer after earning at least 30 credits.
An advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Education has recommended the change. Currently, students who transfer to a four-year institution without earning an associate degree are considered dropouts.
(Including transfers) would raise community-college completion rates to 40 percent, according to the American Association of Community Colleges—up from the 18 percent of community-college students who now receive a two-year associate degree within three years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The new completion rate would also count students who take up to four years, rather than the current three, to finish their two-year degrees. It is not clear how much further that would raise the completion figures.
I think the change makes sense: Transfers have completed their community college goals. But it would be nice to know how many go on to earn a bachelor’s degree.