Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Examining how to speed up transfers out of community college

by Austin Cross and A Martínez | Take Two®

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File photo: New data from Los Angeles Unified shows some suburban students are more at risk of falling short of graduation than those in the urban core. Mae Ryan/KPCC

For many college students, here's the plan: Go to a community college for two years, transfer to a university for the last two years and walk away with a degree. Stick to that plan, and save a lot in tuition.

But a new report by the group The Campaign for College Opportunity says after two years, just 4 percent of community college students transfer. After six years, it's just 38 percent.

In the end, students in two-year schools generally spend more money on extra credits than if they just started at a four-year university. There are exceptions, of course. 

Take Santa Monica College:It produces the most transfer students of any school in California.

Georgia Lorenz is the college's VP of academic affairs. She tells Take Two that students who do manage to transfer after two years tend to have a few common traits: 

  • Those students tend to come college-ready
  • They meet with a counselor and develop an educational plan

Lorenz adds that colleges that work closely with four-year universities can often get students through faster. Counselors at Santa Monica College coordinate with UCLA along with others. 

Our faculty and counselors are constantly in touch with those institutions to ensure that our students are taking the right courses. Our counselors receive intensive training and ongoing professional development so all of them — regardless of which counselor your student goes to — will know the requirements that they need to fulfill to make that path successfully. 

Press the blue play button above to hear more about how students who attend junior college can transfer as efficiently as possible. 

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