Advancing Equity With Effective Community College Transfer Pathways
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Upward transfer from a community college to a four-year institution is a distinct component of higher education and has long been envisioned as an accessible and affordable route to a bachelor’s degree for students who are Latinx, Black, underrepresented Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native, as well as low-income, English language learners, and from other minoritized populations. Yet, nationally, only 28% of Black adults and 21% of Latinx adults over age 25 hold a bachelor’s degree, compared with 42% of white adults. Similarly, only 15% of young adults from the lowest income backgrounds complete a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared with 59% of their wealthier peers.
The Campaign for College Opportunity is proud to release a new publication, Advancing Equity with Effective Community College Transfer Pathways, under our national initiative, Affirming Equity, Ensuring Inclusion, and Empowering Action authored by John Fink, Aurely Garcia Tulloch, and Jessica Steiger from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Vikash Reddy, Vice President of Research, of the Campaign for College Opportunity, which examines:
- Ways transfer reform can help close equity gaps in bachelor’s degree attainment by providing vital degree pathways for students from minoritized backgrounds, who disproportionately begin their educational pathways at community colleges;
- Misaligned policies and inefficient practices that result in just 31% of transfer-intending students to actually transferring to a four-year institution, and only 13% completing a bachelor’s degree within six years, in spite of approximately 80% of new, associate degree-seeking community college entrants stating a goal to transfer;
- A detailed look at the role of the Associate Degree for Transfer pathway in increasing access to a four-year degree and increasing equity in California higher education.
- Recommendations for policymakers and advocates at the federal, state, and institutional levels to promote equitable access to a bachelor’s degree for community college students.
Learn more about this brief from co-author John Fink in our annual ceremony celebrating transfer champions.