The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 19, 2016
Only 14 percent of the students who start out in a community
college transfer to a four-year university and earn a bachelor’s degree
within six years, according to a report released on Tuesday by three groups that are studying ways to plug the leaky pipeline between two- and four-year colleges.
The report was a joint effort of the Community College Research
Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, the Aspen Institute’s
College Excellence Program, and the National Student Clearinghouse
The research breaks down how students fare in different states. Even
in states with the best track records, including Florida, Illinois, and
Kansas, only about one in five community-college students transfers and
graduates within six years of entering a two-year college. At the other
end of the spectrum, some states have transfer-and-graduation rates in
the single digits.
The report is the first phase of an effort supported by the Carnegie
Corporation of New York and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley
Charitable Trust to help colleges improve their transfer rates.
“Too many students are failed by the current system of transfer
between community colleges and universities,” Davis Jenkins, a senior
research associate at the Community College Research Center, said in a
written statement. “Greater success for more students will cut down on
the waste in taxpayer money when students drop out or lose credits as
The report also said that low-income students, who are most likely to
start at community colleges, are less likely than their higher-income
peers to transfer and graduate with a four-year degree.
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