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Dallas County Community College District
Overview of Student Performance After Transfer


Approximately 22% of Texas public university students are community college transfers. In fact, over 10,000 former DCCCD students transfer to a 4-year college or university each year.

More recent national research on student performance after transfer contradicts findings from earlier (mid-1970s) research which suggested that 2-year transfer students were much less likely to complete a baccalaureate degree than native university students. In a national study, there was no difference in graduation rates between the two groups.1 The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has found similar results among Texas institutions. According to the THECB, 40% of the students who began college at a public community college and then transferred to a public university graduated with a bachelorís degree within 6 years. Of the students who began at a public university, 39% graduated from that university and 8% graduated from another institution.

The University of North Texas (UNT) provides the DCCCD with transfer related performance data each year. In general, former DCCCD students perform as well as students who began their college education at UNT. Data from the academic year 1997-98 show the two groups to have equivalent grade point averages of 2.76, with a range of 2.63 to 2.79 within individual DCCCD college. 2 Comparable academic performance is not new or unique to DCCCD students who transfer to UNT. Texas A & M University at Commerce, (formerly East Texas State University) provided like transfer performance data in the mid 1980s and revealed similar results.

Another measure of student success after transfer is student persistence after transfer. Of the DCCCD first-time-in-college students who attempted at least 15 hours and attended the DCCCD for two or more semesters prior to transferring, 87% remained enrolled at that university for at least two semesters. The state average for the same cohort is 85.5%.3

And finally, an indirect measure of transfer student success may be the numerous university scholarship opportunities for former community college students. The DCCCD, like most 2-year institutions, has an open-door admissions policy. Thus, the student body contains students at all levels of academic preparedness. In contrast, most universities have a selective admissions policy with regard to minimum skill level. Eighteen Texas universities formally recognize the 2-year studentís ability to successfully transfer by offering some form of scholarship to community college transfer students. 4

1.  Lee, V. E., Mackie-Lewis, C., & Marks, H. M. (1993). Persistence to the Baccalaureate Degree for Students who Transfer from Community College. American Journal of Education, 102, 80-114.
2.  University of North Texas Office of the Registrar, R-683-10, September 1998.
3.  Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Community College Transfer Rate Study
4.  http://www.dcccd.edu/trans/fin/transcho.htm

Prepared by the DCCCD Office of Research, March 1999

Internal Reports & Summaries