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Home >  Community >  College News >  News Archive >  Transfer Students Undercounted

Transfer Students Undercounted

Los Rios Community College District
February 24, 2009


Sacramento—A research study just released by the Los Rios Community College District’s Office of Institutional Research finds that the number of Los Rios students who transfer to four-year colleges and universities has been seriously undercounted for many years. The study, “Toward a More Complete Picture of Transfer,” used additional data sources to track students who transferred not only to the CSU and UC systems but to in-state private and out-of-state public and private colleges and universities.

“Until now, research studies looking at California community college transfer only looked at those students who transferred to a CSU or UC,” said Los Rios chancellor Brice Harris. “Unfortunately, that approach has missed the many thousands of students who transfer to other institutions.”

The Los Rios study used data provided by the California Postsecondary Education Commission which tracks student transfers to UC and CSU as well as data from the National Student Clearing House which tracks students to all other institutions in the state and nation. The study looked at 2005-06 data and found:

Los Rios colleges transferred 2,990 students to the UC and CSU systems; they also transferred 1,051 students to other four-year colleges throughout the state and nation—a 35% increase over what was originally reported.

Cosumnes River College transfers were undercounted by 68% that year, as 509 students transferred to a UC or CSU campus but another 346 students transferred to other colleges and universities.

Los Rios students transferred to major universities across the nation including Harvard and Stanford.

The top two in-state private institutions Los Rios students transferred to were University of Phoenix and National University.

The study also found that in 2005-06, 4,215 Los Rios students had completed all required course work for transfer. How many of these students actually transferred is still to be determined but it is clear not all of them are accounted for in the transfer data. Los Rios plans further research to learn why students who are transfer ready are not transferring.

“Our study is focused on Los Rios colleges, but we believe the findings have tremendous significance for all of California’s community colleges and will help provide the public and policy makers with a much more complete and accurate picture of the work we are doing in the transfer area,” Harris said.