Rating colleges by grads’ pay isn’t easy

If colleges and universities are judged by former students’ earnings, community colleges will look bad, a dean writes. When community college students go on to a bachelor’s degree, the two-year school gets no credit for their success.

Negotiators are trying to reach consensus on “gainful employment” regulations. The federal rules will deny student aid to job training programs whose graduates don’t earn enough to pay back their loans.

CC success includes graduates — and transfers

Only 18 percent of degree-seeking community college students will complete a two-year degree in three years, according to federal data. Including transfers who go on to earn a bachelor’s degree raises the community college success rate to nearly 40 percent.

72% of credentialed transfers earn 4-year degree

More than 61 percent of community college transfers earn a bachelor’s degree in six years.  Completion rates are much higher — 72 percent — for transfers who’ve earned a two-year degree in community college.

City Colleges of Chicago’s reinvention campaign has raised the graduation rate — from 7 percent to 12 percent. The five-year goal is 20 percent.

Keep the transfer promise

Only 23 percent of California community college students seeking a bachelor’s degree transfer within six years. It’s time to keep the transfer promise — a clear pathway from community college to the California State University system — writes Michele Siqueiros, executive director of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

New measure gives broader view of progress

Federal data on college success tracks only full-time students who study at one institution. The new Student Achievement Measure (SAM) includes students who transfer, those who are still working on a degree after six years and part-time community college students.

Classes are cheap, but you can’t get in

Charging more for community college extension courses during summer and winter breaks is a necessary stopgap, editorializes the Los Angeles Times. While California is starting to restore funding to higher education, it will be years before the state’s community colleges can offer enough courses to meet demand.

Students are having trouble transferring in to the California State University system. San Jose State’s popular animation program accepts only 12 percent of transfers: Students need a 3.85 grade-point average to get in.

Credit creep raises community college costs

Credit creep is making it harder for community college students to complete an associate degree. Instead of 60 credits, many degrees require 70 credits or more. That  costs students time and money and lowers the odds they’ll earn a degree.

After two years at community college, transfers to four-year institutions are just as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree as similar students who started at the four-year college or university, an Illinois study finds.

Many choices, little guidance

Community college students have many choices and little guidance in setting academic or career goals, concludes a new study. Many are overwhelmed.

At an Oakland community college where only 20 percent of students transfer to pursue a bachelor’s degree, a professor’s transfer club is raising the odds. The club’s mascot is an animated Spanglish-speaking Chihuahua that says, “Yo quiero transfer.”

Success rates dip on California scorecard

Only 49.2 percent of degree-seeking community college students reach their goal or transfer in six years, according to California’s new Student Success Scorecard. Graduation-and-transfer rates fell as more students face wait lists for entry-level classes and difficulty transferring to state universities.

Uncounted credits cost time, money

College credits that don’t count cost transfer students time, money — and often the opportunity to complete a degree.

A third of students transfer at least once, almost always losing credits along the way. The average associate degree graduate has earned 80 credits for a degree that requires 60. Full-time students average 3.8 years to complete a two-year degree. Bachelor’s degree graduates average 136.5 credits and 4.7 years for the 120-credit, four-year degree.