Community College Transfers: A ‘Waste of Time’ Derails Students, Leads to Credit Loss and Extra Costs

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Community college transfers to universities have proven to be a complicated process for students, according to an article in The Associated Press. Ricki Korba was admitted to California State University, Bakersfield, as a transfer student after completing courses at a community college. However, many of her previous courses did not count towards her degree, leaving her with little option but to retake them. A lack of clear guidance from community colleges has led to students taking unnecessary courses, while varying rules from universities for evaluating credits can lead to additional issues. Such complications lead to longer degree periods and increased tuition fees.

Complications A recent study by the City University of New York (CUNY) found that, on average, nearly a full semester of work is lost by students who transferred from community colleges to bachelor’s programmes. Furthermore, roughly half of college students do not complete their degree. Among nearly 1 million students who started at a community college in 2016, just one in seven earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Black, Hispanic, and low-income students, who are more likely to start at community colleges, fare the worst in such transfers. Colleges and universities in many states have formed partnerships to make sure certain classes transfer. Over a dozen states have adopted common class numbering systems to create consistency across schools. The problem remains a challenge, however.

Ricki Korba’s situation is not uncommon, particularly in California, which has long struggled to connect its 116 community colleges to more than 30 public universities. California’s community college system is working to form more transfer agreements with universities to make it easier for students to transfer. Community college officials are also providing career counseling and transfer services to help students with the transfer process. However, the transfer process remains a high priority in California to ensure students achieve their academic goals.

Source: ©Ty O’Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images ;
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