Inside Higher Ed has a helpful article about a project known as the Community College Transfer Initiative. Eight selective colleges took part in the project sponsored by the Jack Kent Cook Foundation. The purpose of the study was to “promote sustainable, long-term increases in the number of high-achieving community college students from low-income families transferring to the nation’s selective four-year institutions.”
The colleges in the study include Amherst College, Bucknell University, Cornell University, Mount Holyoke College, University of California at Berkelely, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California.
The colleges worked with local community colleges to help community college students transfer to the four year colleges. By helping these students in the transfer process, the community college students were graduating at the same rate as the students who began as freshman and with similar grade point averages.
I have been critical of community colleges and the transfer process in the past and am glad to see some good news on this front. This study shows that strong students at community colleges can do as well as strong students who begin at these selective colleges. I think it is also further evidence that motivated students can do well in a variety of college settings.