Obstacles to four-year transfer persist for community college students
- A recent study suggests that while more than 80% of community college students want to transfer to a four-year institution, just 14% actually go on to earn a bachelor's degree within six years.
- A common obstacle is that community college students are frequently advised to take courses which do not transfer to four-year schools to meet degree requirements.
- The lack of transferrable credits often force transfer students to take additional courses at the four-year institution, resulting in increased debt and stress.
Articulation agreements are the ideal way to limit transfer interference between community colleges and four-year institutions. But if incorrect advice being given by academic counselors is at the core of the problem, there must be a renewed focus for staff to recognize standards set by the four-year colleges and universities.
Schools at both levels should begin to specialize in offering plain language guidelines on which majors and programs have agreements between them. If certain majors, like natural and computer science, mass communication and social sciences, are the only programs with symmetrical core curricula, then partnering schools should emphasize to students that programs outside of these may not offer easy transition between a two and four-year experience.
Affordability on both ends of the two-to-four-year ascension are key; taking unnecessary classes on the front end, only to make up for them with additional classes on the back end, makes for a costly and frustrating academic experience that frequently leads to dropping out.
- Inside Higher Ed Barriers to transfer