Part of the application process at Las Positas College is defining what a student’s goals are after graduation. Transfer to a four-year college or university is one of the options.
LPC’s transfer rate has statistically and consistently been higher than the state average over the past few years. Over the past few years, however, LPC has also experienced upheaval in administration, budget and class policies.
Why is the LPC transfer rate so high?
“There’s no straight answer,” Rajinder Samra, Director of Institutional Research and Planning at LPC, said. “We know that we have a slightly higher percentage of students who are continuing, but we’ll have to see how those numbers look.”
There are several factors that determine the fluctuation of transfer rates. The first is how the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office defines a particular transfer cohort.
“We’re looking at new, first time college students who, by their behavior, have indicated they want to transfer,” Samra said. “They’ve accumulated at least 12 units and they’ve attempted college level English or math. That definition comes from the state chancellor’s office.”
The most recent cohort year released by the Chancellor’s Office is 2006 to 2007. The state gathers information on each cohort year up to six years after that cohort year has passed. In 2006 to 2007, LPC’s transfer rate was 47 percent, as opposed to the state average transfer rate of 41 percent.
Another factor that determines how high the transfer rate of a school will be is whether or not a decrease in funding has taken place at the school in question. Even another is whether or not CSUs and UCs accept transfer students year round.
Eliminated classes may or may not have played a factor in LPC’s transfer rate, as the students who intend to transfer tend to take more classes and therefore have the higher priority numbers. Students who get into fewer classes tend to have the lower priority numbers and less interest in transferring.
Perhaps the deciding factor for LPC lies in the fact that much of the upheaval in the district and on campus took place after the last recorded cohort year.
“We had a lot of growth and a lot of money for sections (in 2006 to 2007),” Samra said. “The impact would probably not be seen in this data yet.”
As of now, LPC’s transfer rate is solid. In the next couple of years when the next cohort is released, however, the story may not be the same.