Students who take a few courses at community colleges increase their chances of earning a bachelor’s degree, according to a new study from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University.
The report tracked students who were in grade 10 in 2002 for eight years, then compared students who earned and did not earn 1-10 credits at a community college. About 8 percent who mainly enrolled in four-year college also took community college courses.
These students had a 4.5 percentage point higher baccalaureate completion rate and earned $ 1.40 more per hour on the job, compared to four-year-old students who had no credit at community colleges. .
The results were even better for low-income students who took community college courses. Their completion rate was 6.5 percentage points higher than those who had not taken courses at community colleges. They also had an 11 percentage point higher completion rate for bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Black and Latin students who took additional courses earned 3.17 more STEM credits than their counterparts, and women who took community college courses earned 4.3 more STEM credits than those who did not. have not followed. Black and Latin students who took community college courses also had $ 5,888 less in student debt than those who did not.
The report postulates that the causes for these benefits could be the lower cost of community college courses, increased course options, more diverse STEM classrooms, and smaller class sizes.
The center recommends that institutions and policy makers themselves monitor this group of students in order to improve transfer credit monitoring policies. They also recommend that two- and four-year colleges explore why women and low-income students do better in STEM courses at community colleges.