finds transfer gap for high-minority colleges
A new study by researchers at California State University, Sacramento
has found lower transfer rates to four-year universities from California’s
community colleges with more black and Latino students.
The study says differences in socioeconomic status and academic
preparation alone don’t account for the disparity. It says
factors related to social or organizational culture and other barriers
may be at play, and suggests the state study policy changes to address
“This is not only important for the people of color that it
directly impacts, but also for the long-term economic vitality of
the state as it becomes increasingly Latino,” says CSUS public
policy professor Robert Wassmer, one of the report’s authors.
The study was co-sponsored by the California State Senate and the
Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at CSUS,
and is titled “A Quantitative Study of California Community
College Transfer Rates: Policy Implications and a Future Research
Agenda.” It was produced by Wassmer; the Institute’s
director, Nancy Shulock; and Institute researcher Colleen Moore.
The study looked only at students who intended to pursue bachelor’s
degrees. It found a 10 percent increase in Latino students at a
community college led to a 1 percent decrease in transfer rates,
and a 10 percent increase in black students led to a 0.5 decrease
in transfer rates.
addition to its findings on Latino and black students, the study
found community colleges with higher percentages of Asian Americans
and those in urban areas have higher transfer rates. Those with
more women, meanwhile, showed lower transfer rates.
“We hope this study illustrates the importance of identifying
trends in education, and the reasons for them, to better understand
why some groups aren’t succeeding as well as others under
current policies,” Shulock says.
The study cited previous research in suggesting the reasons for
the disparities might be that black and Latino students are more
likely to attend college part time, work more, have more family
obligations, and have limited access to information about college
The full report, which includes each community college’s transfer
rate, is available online at www.csus.edu/ihe
by clicking “Institute Publications.”
More information is available by contacting Nancy Shulock at (916)
278-7249 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Robert Wassmer (916) 278-6304
Media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs
at (916) 278-6156.