Colleges, Universities Work To Smooth Transfer Pathways

Career College Central summary:

  • It's important for community colleges to help students transfer because it’s “a central part of their mission” and because the vast majority of their students do want to transfer, says Davis Jenkins, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University. ?“Transfer pathways are enormously confusing. Students are given lots of options and very little guidance,” says Jenkins.
  • Many in the community college sector agree with Jenkins that developing better partnerships with four-year institutions is of growing importance. CCRC shows that 80 percent of students entering community college say they intend to earn a bachelor’s degree, which is up from 70 percent a decade earlier.
  • However, only about a quarter of those who say they want a bachelor’s degree actually end up transferring to a four-year institution. And only 15 percent earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. But improving the transfer process isn’t something that community colleges can do on their own, Jenkins says. It has to be done in partnership with four-year institutions.
  • Transferring from a community college in North Carolina should be a little easier since the boards of the state’s community college system and the University of North Carolina General Administration signed an articulation agreement in February covering all 17 public universities and  58 community colleges.
  • Improving transfer pathways will be a forum focus at the American Association of Community Colleges' Annual Convention April 5-8 in Washington, D.C.
  • Beginning this fall, universities must accept the first 30 credit hours earned by community college students required for associate degrees. For the second year of courses — the next 30 hours — universities will work with two-year colleges in their region to determine which courses to accept for specific pathways, such as business or engineering, for credit.

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