Many community college students often pursue multiple goals simultaneously. Recent findings from the Strada Education Foundation reveal that over half (55%) of individuals who attended two-year colleges within the past decade had at least two goals in mind, and a significant proportion (33%) had three or more goals.
The Strada Education Foundation conducted a survey of former community college students who are not currently enrolled to understand the various educational pathways they intended to complete upon enrollment. Respondents had the option to select multiple types of degrees, credentials, or other attainment goals. Approximately 65% of respondents stated that their primary objective during enrollment was to earn a credential, such as an associate degree or certificate, or to facilitate the transfer of their coursework to another educational institution. The remaining one-third indicated that they were seeking courses for skill development, professional growth, or personal enrichment.
A more in-depth analysis reveals the intricate overlap of these goals. For instance, among the 65% who reported transfer or degree goals, more than half (55%) were also interested in skill development for their career, nearly one-third (31%) combined attainment with personal interests, and approximately one-quarter (26%) aimed for professional development. Moreover, approximately 22% expressed concurrent interest in obtaining a certificate.