Of all associate degrees reported to the Clearinghouse for the 2010-11 academic year, 575,067 were earned by students with no previous degrees or certificates. Within the next six academic years, 65.1 percent of these students enrolled at four-year institutions and 41.4 percent earned bachelor’s degrees.
In the 2015-16 academic year, 49 percent of students who completed a four-year degree were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years.
Key community college metrics are provided for three areas — college access and persistence, transfer and mobility, and certificate and degree completion — which are important indicators of community college progress.
During the Great Recession, there was a slight increase in the percentage of bachelor’s degree earners who opted to continue their educations at two-year institutions. However, that percentage has now dropped well below pre-recession levels, with only 5.8 percent of 2013-14 bachelor’s degree earners having returned to college at two-year institutions.
Of all associate degrees earned in 2008-09 that were reported to the National Student Clearinghouse, 488,046 were found to be the first postsecondary credential earned by a student. Forty-one percent of these students went on to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.
In the 2013-14 academic year, 46 percent of students who completed a four-year degree were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years.
In our fifth Signature Report, we examine an increasingly important role community colleges play in helping students attain a baccalaureate degree. As our results show, going from a two-year to a four-year institution is a very successful pathway to a bachelor’s degree for those who transfer.
6.5% of students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2008-09 enrolled in a two-year institution within the next two academic years, an increase from 5.9 percent of 2004-05 graduates.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center examined the postsecondary outcomes of students who transferred from two-year to four-year institutions in three different academic years.
From 2007-08 to 2010-11, the number of degrees awarded to students age 25 and older increased by 22%, compared to 17% for those under age 25.
For many students, the path to successfully completing a degree at a four-year institution includes enrollment at one or more two-year institutions. In the 2010-11 academic year, 45 percent of all students who completed a degree at a four-year institution had previously enrolled at a two-year institution.