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Community College Transfer Programs – Another Path to the UC System (and beyond)

Did you know that 20.8% of the UC Berkeley and 29.4% of the UCLA Fall 2008 enrollment arrived through community college transfer programs? For economic reasons many students start in community college and transfer to 4-year programs in their junior year. In Dublin High, for example, 85% of those who chose a 2-year community college program in 2009 are in transfer programs (many having been accepted into 4-year colleges – but unable to afford the tuition).

Most notably, the data from the University of California (UC) system is clear – community college transfer students do just as well as students that entered as freshmen.

Graduation Caps Thrown in AirI have a confession to make.  As a graduate of a 4-year university program (Computer Engineering) followed by a graduate degree (MBA) I didn’t have a positive impression of 2-year community college programs.  Did I have any basis for having this opinion other than a lack of information? No – and I suspect many readers of this article have a similar bias.

I have since become aware of Community College Transfer Programs as a legitimate and effective path to a 4-year college degree.  There are many different reasons why parents should keep an open mind about a Community College Transfer Program – the most obvious being (especially right now) economics.  Due to the recession and the widely publicized 32% tuition hike recently approved by the University of California Board of Regents (that pushed the annual in-state tuition over $10,000 for the first time) a 4-year college degree is further out of reach for many Dublin residents.

Whether or not money is the primary concern, do community college transfer students succeed? According to the University of California: “Academically, our transfers can compete with any UC student. Studies show that transfer students are well prepared to succeed at UC. Community college students who enter the University as juniors perform just as well academically as students who entered UC as freshmen.”  And as a Community College transfer student you are not alone – as noted above 20.8% of the UC Berkeley and 29.4% of the UCLA Fall 2008 enrollment arrived through community college transfer programs.

Community College Transfer Programs are not limited to the UC System – using Los Positas College in Livermore, California as an example, there are transfer programs available for public and private colleges:

  • University of California (UC) campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, Riverside, Irvine, Merced, Santa Barbara
  • St. Mary’s College of California
  • California State University (CSU) campuses – East Bay and Monterey Bay
  • University of the Pacific
  • More information on the Los Positas College transfer program is available here.

Las Positas College was separately profiled by including an interview with a transfer program specialist (article available here).  Diablo Valley College (DVC), another local community college with a San Ramon campus, also provides a wide range of transfer programs.  More information on DVC’s options are available here.

Additional resources for parents and students:

More Education Resources for parents are available here.

Community College


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