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Transfer season: Lowering the barrier between community college and four-year college

Brookings, June 21, 2016

Credentials from community colleges – whether short vocational courses or two-year associate degrees – can be valuable in the labor market. In theory, community colleges also provide an on-ramp for those seeking a bachelor’s degree; in fact, four out of five students enrolling intend to get a 4-year degree.

But the potential of community college is often unrealized. Many students are not ready. Quality varies. Pathways are often unclear and/or complex. Only about 40% of those enrolling earn a degree within six years. Just 15 percent acquire a 4-year degree, according to analyses by Doug Shapiro and Afet Dundar at the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Read more>

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Signature 14 Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates – Fall 2011 Cohort