Transfer works in two directions

While most community college students say they want to transfer to a four-year institution, transfer works in two directions, concludes a new National Student Clearinghouse report: Within six years, 14.4 percent of first-time students who started at a four-year institution in the fall of 2005 had enrolled at a two-year institution in the regular school year.  More than half of reverse transfer students didn’t return to a four-year college or university. By the end of the six-year study period, two-thirds of reverse transfer students hadn’t earned a bachelor’s degree and were not enrolled in a four-year college or university. About half had dropped out, while the rest had earned a community college credential or were still enrolled at community college.

While reverse transfer to a community college isn’t a good route to a bachelor’s degree, four-year students who enroll in summer classes at a community college are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, reports Inside Higher Ed.  “About 78 percent of students at four-year institutions who enrolled in a community college for a summer session and then returned to their original institution successfully earned a degree, according to the report, substantially outpacing the 58 percent graduation rate of those who never attended a community college.”

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON July 27, 2012

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Eric Lichtenberger

We conducted a similar study with all Illinois High School Graduates last year and found the rate even higher (21%). The bigger issue is that reverse transfer students accounted for 80% of the four-year college drop-outs and only 19% earned a CTE certificate or associate’s degree during their community college stay. This leads me to believe that there needs to be better mechanisms in place to get the credit earned at the four-year colleges to the community colleges to facilitate certificate and/or associate’s degree attainment.

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