41% of community college grads eventually earn bachelor's
- A new report issued by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicates that 41% of community college graduates with no previous certificates and degrees went on to earn a bachelor's degree within the next six years, according to Inside Higher Ed.
- The report indicated that the most successful community college graduate student population were those students at 20 years of age or younger, with 62% of them achieving a bachelor's degree by the six-year mark. The center's report analyzed 575,067 community college students who had graduated from community college in 2011.
- While 65% of community college graduates overall enroll in a four-year degree program after receiving their associate degree, the farther a student gets from the traditional age of a student, the less likely he or she is to matriculate to a four-year institution and graduate. 80.4% of students 20 years of age or younger do compared to 67.3% of students between the ages of 20 and 24 and 57.7% of students who were over 24 years of age. 32% of the total community college graduate population over 24 years old would eventually attain a bachelor's, according to the report.
While the percentages for younger students enrolling in four-year institutions post-community college are high, higher ed institutions have an opportunity to reach adult learners who graduated from community college, who are not enrolling or graduating at numbers that are nearly as high. Four-year institutions can work to build strong articulation agreements with local community colleges, including alumni networks of those schools, framing their courses as a way to further burnish the credentials students earned during their community college career.
With several states, including California, instituting preliminary initiatives to try and offer community college tuition-free for all interested students, community college graduates could become a particularly attractive applicant pool for four-year institutions. These students would enter the classroom with previous college experience, and could in turn require less services and counseling on their academic outlook. Previous experiencing and credentialing could alleviate the need for remedial instruction at four-year universities that could be costly and may offer mixed results, and may even be detrimental to those students. However, despite financial realities which may make reaching out to these students imperative to the sustainment of higher ed as a while, federal reporting standards offer almost a disincentive to reach out to this population, as they aren't counted in the institutional graduation rate.
- Inside Higher Ed 40% of 2-Year College Grads Earn a Bachelor's