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Students Speak Their Truth about Transfer: What They Need to Get "Through the Gate"
There is documented need for California to produce more bachelor's degree holders. Broad agreement exists that increasing community college transfer is an essential strategy for achieving this critical goal, while at the same time closing equity gaps and promoting mobility for residents of a state plagued with the nation's highest cost of living. What do students say they need to make it through the transfer gate? The RP Group's "Through the Gate" transfer study reveals a lost opportunity for California: Students who are close to transfer, yet struggling to make it to university. In the study's second phase, surveys and interviews with over 800 students across 31 California Community Colleges reveal that transfer students need colleges and universities to provide a more holistic and integrated approach to ensure they reach their goals: a bachelor's degree and economic mobility for themselves and their families. These students--high-leverage learners whose course-taking indicates they are close to transfer--offer rich and useful perspectives about factors impacting the entire transfer journey. Their input can inform both campus- and system-level efforts to achieve the California Community Colleges' Vision for Success goals, and ensure any student who sets a baccalaureate goal has the funds, knowledge, skills, and confidence to transfer. [For "Through the Gate Transfer Study: Phase 2 Technical Report," see ED608940.]
Transfer Stories and Strategies: How Six Student Groups Experience the Transfer Journey. Through the Gate Transfer Study
California has embraced transfer between the state's community colleges and universities as a key mechanism for ensuring a diverse and qualified workforce while simultaneously closing equity gaps and promoting economic mobility for its residents. Yet the RP Group's "Through the Gate" transfer study finds that each year, nearly 60,000 California community college students who demonstrate the determination and academic ability to transfer do not make it to university. Who is more likely to get stuck? Students historically marginalized by our higher education systems. These "high-leverage" learners--students whose course taking indicates they are close to transfer--commonly shared that four key factors impact their readiness for university. At the same time, some factors carried more weight for certain groups of students than others. This brief offers community college practitioners a snapshot of these differences and strategies for supporting these focal student groups. Community colleges can leverage the student perspectives and insights shared in this brief to improve transfer outcomes for specific student groups experiencing disproportionate impact.
Get In, Stay In
Issues of race and class have turned the college experience into an obstacle course that is deterring many of America’s brightest students from graduating with a four-year degree. This video counters cultures of low expectation and social isolation with three stand-out initiatives that are helping students get into college—and stay in. Featured in this video are: the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, a national model for talented minority students studying science, engineering, math, and computer science; The Puente Project; the East Los Angeles College program, which bridges the transition gap between two- and four-year institutions; and the Twenty-first Century Scholars Program, which is raising educational aspirations among Indiana’s low- and moderate-income families. A community planning guide is available online.