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Report 96-4: Progress Report on the Community College Transfer Function: A Report to the Governor and the Legislature in Response to Senate Bill 121 (Chapter 1188, Statutes of 1991)

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

June 1996

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Senate Bill 121 (Chapter 1188, Statutes of 1991) implements recommendations of the 1988 report of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Review of the Master Plan regarding desirable improvements in the operation of the transfer function in California public higher education. In this report, the California Postsecondary Education Commission provides an assessment of the progress that has been made in achieving the goal of SB 121: improving student transfer among the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.

The report demonstrates that the transfer function involves several complementary components -- from systemwide programs and services to personal, interinstitutional relationships -- which mitigate against relying on a single measure of its effectiveness. Statistical information available on student transfer show that, despite the effects of nearly a half-decade of recession-driven funding reductions, the numbers of students taking advantage of transfer opportunities to continue their academic careers after high school have recovered from several years of decline to reach its highest point this decade.

However, despite the success of California's public colleges and universities in facilitating student transfer from community colleges to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions, many of the interpersonal and interinstitutional components of the transfer function have suffered as a result of fiscal stringency. Three case studies of campus practices and perceptions regarding student transfer have been included in this report to provide an "on-the-scene" view of the transfer function and process from the perspectives of staff, faculty and students on California's campuses. Their varying perceptions of the relative importance of the individual components of the transfer function point to the level of complexity in the actual transfer process.

Strong evidence that the transfer function is still operational, and is perceived by students to be a viable route to attainment of a baccalaureate degree or higher, can be derived from the fact that more students are making the transition from community college campuses to baccalaureate institutions within California; this despite declining fiscal and human resources being devoted to the transfer process. In addition, legislation has been recently adopted that seeks to encourage even greater collaboration between community colleges and public universities (SB 1914, Killea) and among community colleges (SB 450, Solis). Coupled with the Commission's review of transfer activities, several areas have been suggested as goals to be pursued in an effort to strengthen and expand the transfer function.

The Commission adopted this report on June 3, 1996.

Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis | Enrollments and Degrees Awarded | Student Transfer

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