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
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.