Thursday, February 05, 2009

California seeks to boost transfer rates to 4-year universities

Wow, this is extremely low. Less than 1 percent of transfers to on to the UC System and less than 3 percent of all transfers go on to four year institutions at all.


All three of the state's public college systems form a task force to help smooth the way for students seeking a bachelor's degree.

By Gale Holland
February 5, 2009

Leaders of California's public college and university systems announced Wednesday that they are launching a joint task force to boost the number of community college students who transfer to the state's four-year universities.

Only 14,000 of the 2.7 million students enrolled in the state's 110 community colleges transfer to University of California campuses, and 55,000 others move on to California State University campuses.

Although many community college students are seeking job skills or enrichment rather than a university degree, experts say the transfer path is riddled with procedural potholes even for those determined to use a two-year campus as a launching pad to further education. California ranks 39th among states in the percentage of bachelor's degrees awarded to high school graduates after six years, according to the public universities.

"Expanding the opportunity for a four-year education is a critical need for California," UC President Mark Yudof told a meeting of the Board of Regents in San Francisco. "I believe we need to be actively involved, working in the colleges themselves, and in partnership with the other institutions of higher education, to encourage students to pursue transfer options and understand that it is achievable and affordable."

All three of the state's public college systems will participate equally in the transfer task force.

Yudof, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, in a joint statement, said improving transfer rates would reduce the costs of obtaining a four-year degree and thus expand opportunities for underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged students, who often prefer to begin their college education close to home.

Chancellor Mark Drummond of the Los Angeles Community College District said he welcomed the initiative but added that it is a complicated process, and that it will take major statewide policy shifts to attack the problem.

Recent efforts have improved transfer rates for California students, but the growth has been slow.

Morgan Lynn, executive vice chancellor of California Community Colleges, said the task force's efforts would include research "to see what works and doesn't work" in improving transfer rates.

"Our goal for students is to ensure that when they arrive at the CSU, they have the tools, information and support they need to be successful in achieving a baccalaureate degree," Reed said in a statement. "A plan developed by the three segments holds great promise."

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