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Succeeding at a Community College

Are Community Colleges Doing Their Job?

Sad statistic: in California, 70 percent of students enrolled in community colleges don't get their degrees or don't end up transferring to four-year colleges within six years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

These findings are troubling and show that the system definitely needs an overhaul. "It's not an understatement to say that the future of California is at stake," the study's coauthor Nancy Shulock said. "Unlike other developing countries with which California and other states have to compete, each generation is getting less educated and attaining fewer higher degrees. The gaps are large and critical and when you look at the future face of California, they are the ones for whom we're not delivering much success."

Recently, it was reported that more and more people are going to community colleges for the first year or two, then transferring to a four-year university to finish up their bachelor's degree. I asked Savvy readers if going this route was a savvy idea, and an overwhelming 88 percent of you thought it was. Some of the comments by readers shed some light on the problem that many of these two-year colleges are facing.


To hear what they had to say, read on.

  • "[Going the community college route] has been going on for years and in the past I think it was a good strategy. Now, community colleges are so crowded that it is tough to get your classes and finish in 2 years. If there is no other option, yes it is good but going to a four year college is better." —  socalbeachgal
  • "As a current community college student, I agree with socalbeachgal. It is taking longer due to budget cuts to complete the necessary courses to transfer. I have changed my major while in community college so it will take me 3.5 years to complete. I should have been done this semester but due to the cuts, not all of the classes I needed were offered for me to take this semester. This also causes a problem when I do transfer since counselors tell me that UC's and CSU's want all of your required classes completed the October before you transfer since the LAST required class I needed is not offered it could possible hold off my transfer another semester." — 

How does this make you feel to hear this statistic? Do you think community colleges are doing their job?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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