Focus centering on transfer success
Lawmakers look to reduce deficit, time of process
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 18:05
With budget cuts narrowing student resources on campus, it has been harder for Contra Costa College to focus on success and transfer rates.
Since eliminating the Transfer/Career Center coordinator position last year, held by Robin Harrison, CCC has not had a person who could fully devote his or her time to the transfer of students to four-year universities.
“With students still transferring at significant rates, it has been a concern with budget cuts,” Interim Dean of Students Vicki Ferguson said. “I’m saddened this semester that we don’t have someone in the Student Services Center focused solely on transferring.”
Prior to Harrison’s position being cut, CCC still struggled with its success rates as the percentage of students graduating and transferring has decreased since 2007.
According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) website, based on a cohort of students who attended CCC in 2007 to 2012 along with taking four semesters, only 13 percent of those students graduated.
For every eight of classes semesters taken by students from 2007 to 2012, 26 percent graduated. Out of the students who took 12 semesters during that five-year span, 33 percent were able to graduate.
“The problem at CCC is that students often drop out and come back to school later in their life,” Senior Dean of Research and Planning Tim Clow said. “For the last three years it has been a decline for students who completed 30 or more units. Our progress and achievement rate has been flat.”
For student Diego Pedroza, staying motivated in school with constantly rising tuition fees has been a struggle.
“I’m tired of going to school,” the automotive services major said. “With all the cutting they are doing on classes it takes more time to graduate and makes things a lot harder.”
Another factor to CCC’s slump in success and transfer rates has been the college’s inability to get more information as far as who is transferring or graduating due to the state removing statistics from the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) database, and slashing away the state’s data mart from its website, Clow said.
“We don’t know who the students are or exactly how many students are transferring because the state doesn’t provide us with any information,” Articulation and Matriculation Services Coordinator Kenyetta Tribble said. “We could be doing better than what we are currently doing.”
Tribble said that one of the ways to help students transfer with fewer complications is the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (SB 1440).
SB 1440 was signed into legislation on Sept. 29, 2010 and enables the California community colleges and California State University system to collaborate on the creation of associate in arts and associate in science degree transfer programs.
Tribble also said workshops such as the Transfer Alliance Project can help students learn what it takes to transfer successfully.
Students who are involved with TAP receive guidance from counselors that come from various UCs and CSUs to talk about what exactly is required of them to get into the school.
Ferguson said that CCC still holds Transfer Day every fall semester as well as Transfer Reception every spring to reach out to students. Programs such as EOPS are also helping students get the resources they need to transfer.
Interim Vice President Donna Floyd, who used to serve as the coordinator in the Transfer/Career Center, said that students should take advantage of the little resources that the college is offering.
“Students stop going to college for a lot of reasons and it’s understandable that life is hard, but they have to push harder and not let the outside pressures get in their way,” Dr. Floyd said. “Why not take advantage of what opportunities are in front of you now?”
To help soothe the SSC’s lack of a transfer coordinator, Ferguson said that CCC is currently looking to hire a counselor who specializes in transferring.
“Our mission is to still prepare students to transfer as well as have a place where they can go to get the counseling they need,” she said.