November 2015–December 2016
Texas relies heavily on its community colleges to provide aspiring baccalaureate students with a low-cost entry into their undergraduate education. Yet a large proportion of these students fail to transfer, and those who do transfer often suffer a loss of college credits as they transition from the two-year to the four-year sector. If Texas were able to make the transfer process smoother, the state would benefit in terms of higher baccalaureate degree completion rates, as well as stronger returns to students’ and taxpayers’ investments in Texas public higher education. This qualitative and quantitative research study identified potential policies that could improve the rate and cost-effectiveness of baccalaureate attainment among community college students in Texas. By investigating Texas’ current transfer outcomes, transfer policies, and community college students’ decisions about transfer, the project shed light on incentives for desirable student-level and institution-level transfer-related behaviors and policies that might influence those behaviors.
This project was funded by the Greater Texas Foundation.