At SDSU, there’s been a recent influx in community college transfers

Photo by Kristian Carreon, Staff Photogrpher

Photo by Kristian Carreon, Staff Photogrpher

by Julia Rear

A recent report showed more local community college students are transferring to San Diego State after receiving their associate of arts and sciences degrees from one of the San Diego Community College District schools.

The research from the SDCCD Office of Institutional Research and Planning tracked students during a five-year period. SDSU Associate Vice President for Enrollment Sandra Cook said local transfer students are traditionally given priority admission and the number is increasing because students are better prepared for their specific majors.

“What’s changed is that students are coming in with most of the major prep requirements completed,” Cook said. “That means they are able to transfer directly into the major of their choice.”

According to Cook, 1,154 of the 2,213 SDCCD transfer students that applied were admitted for the 2014-15 school year. The number of students that actually enrolled dropped to 926.

SDSU transfer student and communication junior Dennis Gulyas said he is happy he completed his undergraduate and major prep classes at San Diego Mesa College.

“Now that I’m at San Diego State its all for my major,” Gulyas said. “I’m only taking classes I’m interested in and it’s very stimulating to me.”

A report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center showed transferring from a two-year to a four-year institution proves to be a successful pathway to a bachelor’s degree for students. An average of 85.6 percent of SDCCD students who transferred to SDSU in 2010 continued on or graduated within two years.

Cook said this number only represents the students who, after two years, have either graduated or continued enrollment. Students who graduated within three years of transfer had a significantly higher completion percentage than those who transferred in two years.

According to Cook, among the three SDCCD campuses, students transferring from San Diego Miramar College had the highest graduation percentage, at 43 percent after two years and 75 percent after three years. Mesa College had the second highest graduation completion at 37 percent and 71.8 percent respectively, and San Diego City College had the lowest at 38.6 percent and 67.7 percent respectively.

SDSU had 1,257 applicants, which was the highest number of transfer applications for 2013-14 from Mesa College.

Higher completion rates at four-year public institutions may be related to the number of credits students were able to transfer from two-year institutions because of articulation agreements in place in many states, according to recent studies. In California, the Associate Degree for Transfer program guarantees eligible SDCCD students acceptance to the California State University system.

Gulyvas said that even though there are more students transferring to four-year universities, their preparation for the transition is questionable.

“At the university level, you are responsible for your own work,” Gulyas said. “I do not think community colleges prepare students for that level of responsibility.”

Following SDSU on the list of top 10 transfer institutions are University of California San Diego, National University, University of Phoenix, California State University San Marcos, University of San Diego, Ashford University, UC Berkeley, UCLA and Arizona State, according to the SDCCD report.

Photo by Kristian Carreon, Staff Photographer