Study: Majority of California community college students fail to graduate or to transfer

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A new study suggests that the vast majority of California’s community college students fail to earn degrees or transfer to four-year universities.

Sacramento State University researchers titled their study “Divided We Fail.” Their sample of about 250,000 community college students in the state indicated that seven out of 10 don’t transfer to four-year universities or earn two-year associate’s degrees. Completion rates for black and Latino students were lower than that.

The study found that students who took full class loads and completed basic courses early on were more likely to earn degrees or to transfer.

The low college completion rate is bad news for California’s economy, researchers said, because the state could add a million jobs for workers with bachelor’s degrees. That’s not likely, though, because so few students graduate.

The complicated transfer process between community colleges and Cal State and University of California campuses is partly to blame, researchers said. They added that administrators could do a better job of teaching students to perform well at community colleges – and identifying those in danger of dropping out.