All Things Transfer

Two new reports on the status of transfer in California highlight the opportunities for improvement within the system and recommend changes that could make a positive impact on students in the Inland Empire.

The Transfer Maze: The High Cost to Students and the State of California published by the Campaign for College Opportunity highlights the critical role transfer plays in producing college graduates and providing economic opportunity, and the unnecessary barriers that impede transfer for far too many Californians, resulting in high costs to students and the state. Although the majority of California community college students enroll wanting to transfer, students transferred at an average rate of only 4% after two years of enrollment, 25% after four years of enrollment, and 38% after six years of enrollment. For the state, these low transfer rates yield high costs associated with a minimum number of seats available to new students and lost tax revenue from people with delayed entry into the workforce or whose economic prospects are reduced as a result of an unfinished degree. For the student starting at a community college, she or he may pay $36,000-$38,000 more to obtain a bachelor’s degree than would a student enrolling directly at a four-year college.

Through the Gate: Mapping the Transfer Landscape for California Community College Students  from the RP Group and sponsored by College Futures Foundation investigated why many students in California enter higher education through the state’s community college system with the intent to transfer to a four-year college or university, and yet the transfer rate from the California Community College (CCC) system is stubbornly low—fewer than 30% of CCC students enrolled between 2010 and 2015 who intended to transfer did so within six years.

The report’s findings point to a number of challenges, including:

  • 300,000 students got stuck at or near the transfer gate, and more than half of those students left the community college system without a credential.
  • Math is a barrier—92% of students near the transfer gate had not completed transfer-level math.
  • Latino men and Native American women are the least likely to transfer.
  • Region plays a role—students in the Inland Empire are the least likely to make it through the transfer gate.

The Majority Report

The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California” provides an extensive look at how the state’s largest ethnic group is faring at every level of California’s education system. The report finds that while the over 3 million Latino students in K-12 schools are the majority of California’s 6.2 million K-12 population, and nearly 1 million Latino students are in California’s public colleges and universities, these students continue to face troubling inequities from early learning through higher education. California’s Latino students:

  • Attend the nation’s most segregated schools;
  • Are often tracked away from college-preparatory coursework;
  • Are sometimes perceived as less academically capable than their White or Asian peers; and
  • Have insufficient access to early childhood education;
  • Are less likely to feel connected to their school environment;
  • Are more likely to be required to take remedial courses at colleges and universities.

The study also highlights bright spots throughout the state where promising practices are helping Latino students advance academically, dispelling the myth that these gaps cannot be closed, and reiterating the need for more action and urgency from state leaders. Several programs in the Inland Empire were highlighted including:

Reduce barriers to family engagement with schools Across Val Verde Unified, every traditional high school hosts a family resource center. The district also provides a bilingual family engagement center that provides everything from assistance with financial aid forms  to courses on health, parenting, computer literacy, and ESL for parents. Last year, over 7,000 parents participated in events through the district family engagement center.

Support counselors Riverside County Office of Education created the Riverside County Education Collaborative to pilot college-going interventions with five focus districts and three higher education partners, and then scaled what works county-wide. One initiative, the School Counselor Leadership Network, brings together high school counselors to collaborate and share best practices.

Expand dual enrollment At Rancho Cucamonga High School in San Bernardino County, about 150 students enrolled in Chaffey College through dual enrollment. One of the school’s counselors brought the application, orientation, and assessment process in-house. Two community college classes are now offered on the high school campus during the year, and an additional course offered in summer.

Article courtesy of the Education Trust-West.