ERIC Number: ED310832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Commitment to Transfer. ERIC Digest.
Cohen, Arthur M.
The proportion of community college students transferring to a four-year institution dropped considerably during the 1970's and early 1980's, a situation leading to accusations that the colleges do not prepare their students sufficiently well for transfer. However, several other factors have an influence on transfer rates. The fact that most community college students attend on a part-time basis accounts for some of the difference in rates of bachelor's degree attainment between community college and four-year college matriculants. The mere fact that community college students must transfer from one institution to another may also account for some of the shortfall. The transfer function is further weakened by institutional policies that support the idea of the college as a passive resource available to all who would drop in at any time during their lifetimes. These policies result in 85% of the matriculants not obtaining a degree, a lateral curriculum in which prerequisites to courses are not enforced, and a system in which student progress towards completion is not monitored. In efforts to increase transfer rates, colleges have begun to monitor student progress, provide information and hold meetings on transfer opportunities, enforce course prerequisites, and offer remedial courses to bring a sizable population up to a basic standard of literacy. Statewide efforts can be seen in California, which set aside $3 million for transfer centers in 20 colleges; New Jersey, which awarded special funds to its colleges to recruit transfer oriented minority students; and Colorado and Michigan, which mandated articulation plans between community colleges and public universities. While these efforts will eventually have some effect, major changes in philosophy and policy must be made if the number of students who transfer to a four-year university is to increase substantially. Statewide policies should be established to: (1) guarantee transfer students acceptance at a university without loss of units; (2) set aside special funds to reward colleges for improved transfer rates; (3) establish a common course numbering system for two- and four-year colleges; and (4) develop a centralized, accessible interinstitutional database. More importantly, community college staff members should identify potential transfers early on and monitor their progress until they complete their studies and enter the university. (VVC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.