Improving community college completion rates in California has proved to be a slow process despite reform legislation and nearly $900 million in associated state funding.
In 2012, California passed the Student Success Act designed to increase the percent of community college students who earned either a certificate, an Associate’s Degree or elected to transfer to a four-year college or university within six years. The legislation resulted in changes in counseling, academic placement, financial aid and transparency at the campuses of all the state’s 113 community colleges.
According to a recent assessment by Larry Gordon at EdSource, data released last week showed a 48.0 percent completion rate in 2015-16. That’s slightly lower than the 48.8 percent in 2010-11—the year that triggered the push for legislative change. The silver lining in this year’s data is it reversed three previous years of decline and is also an improvement from the 47.3 percent attained in 2014-15.