In a move towards addressing challenges in the higher education transfer process, the U.S. Department of Education has released data spotlighting top-performing community colleges and universities facilitating seamless transitions for students. The announcement was made at a summit on transfer policy improvement held at Northern Virginia Community College, attended by leaders in higher education and government officials from 11 states.
Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, emphasized the disproportionate impact of credit transfer issues on students of color, who predominantly attend community colleges. He underscored the urgency of streamlining the transfer process, citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling against using race in admissions. Cardona stated, "No one will solve this challenge in isolation. We need leaders across higher education to collaborate intentionally."
The newly released data draws on an eight-year analysis of approximately 620,000 students who received federal financial aid and enrolled in a community college in 2014. Utilizing information from the National Student Loan Data System, the assessment evaluates the performance of institutions nationwide based on transfer rates and bachelor’s degree completion. Notable findings include Irvine Valley College boasting the highest transfer rate among two-year institutions in California (56%), while California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, graduated the highest share of transfer students (89%). The move is expected to contribute substantially to ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency and equity of the higher education transfer process.