Capitol Alert

California Community Colleges targets huge growth in student completion

California community colleges will attempt to increase degree completion and transfers by nearly a quarter of a million students over the next decade as part of its broader student success initiative.

The sprawling system of 112 colleges and 2.1 million students announced Wednesday an effort to produce 227,247 additional associate degrees, certificates and transfers to four-year universities beyond its current levels through the next ten freshmen classes.

“This is probably the most ambitious goal-setting effort ever undertaken by our system,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said on a conference call.

The target will require the system to improve the completion rate for degree programs and transfers to 62.8 percent from 48.1 percent, and for career technical education certificates to 70.3 percent from 53.9 percent, according to the chancellor’s office.

Harris said the community colleges are about halfway through implementing a set of 22 recommendations from the system’s Board of Governors to improve student success, including redesigning academic counseling services, encouraging more students to complete educational plans, boosting completion in remedial courses, and smoothing transfer pathways with the California State University system.

The 2014-15 budget provided $170 million to expand and improve those efforts.

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