A growing body of research underscores the urgent need to better understand how students use community colleges to launch their journey toward a baccalaureate in career-oriented disciplines and how to increase their success with transfer and degree completion.
Several studies have shown that without an increase in student transfer, California is likely to face serious workforce shortages in a number of high-growth, high-demand occupations such as accounting, engineering, nursing, and teaching and in emerging sectors like biotechnology, logistics, and clean/green technology.
To better understand how students travel through the state’s community colleges and universities (both public and private) to ultimately achieve a professional degree, the RP Group conducted a multi-year, comprehensive study focused on:
The infrastructure for transfer between community colleges and four-year institutions in occupational disciplines
Ways students used the community college system to prepare for transfer in high-demand disciplines (specifically, engineering, accounting, nursing, teacher education, and administration of justice)
Factors that complicated and supported their journey
Opportunities to increase students' completion of transfer and a degree
Research activities included:
Conducting an extensive literature review on transfer in career-oriented disciplines
Engaging over 450 educators from California community colleges and universities in identifying factors that affect transfer in occupational programs
Mapping the educational pathways of 14,500 transfer students who traveled through California’s community colleges and universities (public and private) to achieve a bachelor’s degree in these disciplines
Collecting perspectives from over 1,000 students about the factors that impacted their transfer journey
Convening with community college and university practitioners, employers, and advocacy groups about ways to facilitate transfer in these majors
RP Group Lead
RP Group Project Team Members
Lisel Blash, Kathy Booth, Beth Cataldo, Dr. Darla Cooper, Dr. Robert Gabriner, Lorraine Giordano, Kelley Karandjeff, EdM, Ed Karpp, Suzanne Korey, Nathan Pellegrin, Rogéair Purnell-Mack, Dr. Diane Rodriguez-Kiino, Terrence Willett, MS
California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, The James Irvine Foundation
Reports and Briefs
Traveling the Transfer Path: Quantitative Findings on Community College Transfers who Complete Professional Degrees (2nd Edition)
Report of quantitative findings produced by STP3 on the educational paths taken by transfer students completing degrees in professional majors.
2 + 2 = 6? Making Community College Transfer Pathways Add Up for Accounting Students
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in accounting, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
Destination BSN: How California Community College Transfer Students Work toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in nursing, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
From Student to Teacher: How Community College Transfer Students Work toward a Baccalaureate and Teaching Credential
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in teacher education, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
Transfer Intelligence: How Community College Transfer Students Work toward a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in criminal justice, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
Unchartered Territory: Highlights from an Exploration of Transfer Pathways in Emerging Disciplines
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in emerging disciplines such as biotechnology and logistics, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
A Long and Leaky Pipeline: Improving Transfer Pathways for Engineering Students
Research brief summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings on students’ transfer preparation in engineering, and the factors impacting their journey to baccalaureate degree.
Pipeline Improvements: Diversifying and Accelerating the Engineering Transfer in California Community Colleges
Research brief describing how community colleges recruit underrepresented minorities to the engineering transfer path and help students hurdle the math barrier that can inhibit progress to degree.
Engineering Transfers Speak: Real Students, Real Stories
Student profiles and perspectives on the journey to an engineering baccalaureate.
Phase I Research Summary: CTE Transfer Research Project
Research brief outlining highlights a quantitative study of the CTE course infrastructure, student enrollment, transfer rates and destinations; and a qualitative exploration of factors that students and faculty say impact CTE transfer.
CTE Transfer Research Project: Themes from a Literature Review of Career and Technical Education Transfer
Literature review brief providing a high-level summary of the context for studying CTE transfer, models for facilitating students’ pursuit of baccalaureate degrees, and evidence on the factors impacting this transition.
Literature Review Summary: CTE Transfer Research Project
Literature review addressing (1) the definition of CTE transfer, (2) the context for studying CTE transfer, (3) models that facilitate and support CTE transfer, and (4) factors that influence this transition.
Occupations Requiring Baccalaureate Preparation: A Review of Labor Market Projections
Overview of workforce projections focused on jobs requiring baccalaureate-level preparation including high-growth, high-demand and emerging occupations (based on 2008 data).
The Engineering Transfer Experience: The Student View from the Beginning, Middle, and Completion of the Transfer Journey
Presentation highlighting key findings on the engineering transfer path (Engineering Liaison Council, October 2011).
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Transfer Research Project: Improving Transfer Pathways for California Community College Students in CTE Programs
Journal of Applied Community College Research article on the infrastructure of CTE courses and programs that facilitate transfer from California’s community colleges, an analysis of student engagement with that infrastructure, and student and educator perspectives regarding factors that support and compromise transfer in career-oriented disciplines.
News and Events
This project is complete. Visit "Related Projects" below to learn about our other initiatives in this project's area(s) of impact.