- According to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 41% of students who earned an associate degree during the 2009-10 academic year earned a bachelor’s degree within six years.
- Outcomes were better for younger community college attendees; students aged 20 or younger earned associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees or both, at a slightly higher rate than students between the ages of 20-24 or older.
- Nearly 37% of students earning an associate degree took 2-3 years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
This study is a dramatic contrast with many state and federal initiatives seeking to promote two-year and technical school education to a generation of students who, many feel, won’t be prepared or able to afford a four-year degree in the coming years. First, the data suggests most students do not want to stop higher learning after earning a credential or associate degree, indicating that costs or external factors may not be as persistent an issue as many experts believe.
Community college, for many, is not an academic destination, but a stop towards the baccalaureate degree. And while many millennials and professionals may seek out bootcamps and fast-track credentialing programs, the predicted demise of the four-year degree has not yet arrived.