Sunday, July 14, 2024
The RP Group

Exploring Geographic Isolation as a Barrier to Equitable Transfer Outcomes


While research suggests distance is an important factor in students’ college-going decisions for underrepresented and students with low income, the degree of influence remain unknown. Further, while California is home to 116 CCs, the concentration of universities in any given region has yet to be mapped to determine where university education deserts (UEDs) exist and whether they are more prevalent in areas with higher concentrations of Latinx students, thus compounding the issues of placeboundedness.

The proposed project will explore the role of UEDs as a barrier for transfer-motivated community college students, notably for Latinx students and students from low-income backgrounds.

The core questions driving the research are:

  1. What is the demographic makeup of transfer-motivated community college students living in UEDs (having no public university within 25 miles of home that has an 80%+ acceptance rate?)? How does this differ from the demographic makeup of transfer-motivated community college students in regions of similar population size that do have accessible university options?

  2. What relationship, if any, is there between living in a UED (having no public university within 25 miles of home that has an 80%+ acceptance rate) and the likelihood of transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution among transfer-motivated students? Does this relationship vary as a function of student ethnicity and/or income status? Do other factors (e.g., community college level factors) mediate this relationship?


Darla Cooper, Daisy Segovia

Team Members

Katie Brohawn, Alyssa Nguyen

Advisory Members




Dr. Dustin  Acres

Associate Professor, Mathematics Division

Porterville College

Marty Alvarado

Vice President of Postsecondary Education and Training 

Jobs for the Future

Dr. Angélica Garcia

Superintendent/President, Founder/Board Member of COLEGAS

Santa Rosa Junior CollegeCOLEGAS

Dr. Fabio González

EOPS Director/Counselor

San Jose City CollegeCCEOPSA

Dr. Sabrina Klein

Research Associate


Dr. Laura Lara-Brady

Senior Project Manager

West Ed Center for Economic Mobility

Mariana Macamay

Transfer Center Coordinator

Crafton Hills College

Dr. Kate Mahar

Associate Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives

Shasta College

Marco Martinez

Vice President

Student Senate for California Community College

Dr. Siria Martinez

Assistance Vice Chancellor of Student Equity and Success

California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

Dr. Daniel Miramontez

Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, RP Group Board Member

San Diego Miramar College, The RP Group Board

Tim Morehouse

Guided Pathways Lead Regional Coordinator, North/Far North

Foundation for California Community College

Dr. Olga Rodriguez


PPIC Higher Education Center

Jessie Ryan

Executive Vice President

Campaign for College Opportunity

Saúl Valdez

Senior Program Officer

ECMC Foundation

Jessa Lewis Valentine

Senior Learning & Impact Officer

Ascendium Education Group

Julia Vergara

Executive Director

The Puente Project

Dr. Kevin Walthers


Allan Hancock College




  • Focus Populations:
  • Status: Current
  • Contact:

Areas of Impact


Related Projects