Transfer students to be included in community college graduation rate data

The way that community colleges determine how many students successfully complete their degrees is set to change to include transfer students, reports The Washington Post.

Under the new guidelines, recommended by the Department of Education, students who transfer to another school after earning at least 30 credits at a community college will be counted in that school's graduation figures. The changes will also include students who take three years to finish their programs instead of two.

These adjustments could make it easier for students who are considering filling out college applications for two-year schools to get an idea about how many individuals finish their studies.

"If you consider transfer to be a successful outcome – and many community college people say their job is to get the student into the four-year college – then the graduation rate has to rise," Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, told the news source.

Elsewhere in the country, legislators are looking at ways that community colleges can improve graduation rates. According to Cal State News, two-year schools in California should be given more oversight powers to make sure community colleges are working toward improving the number of students successfully earning their qualifications or transferring to four-year schools.

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