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California Community Colleges Sets Goal to Increase Student Completions by Nearly a Quarter of a Million Statewide

The California Community Colleges announced today it will seek to increase the number of students earning certificates, degrees or transferring to four-year institutions by nearly a quarter of a million over the next 10 incoming freshman classes under college completion goals set by the system’s Board of Governors.

Action by the Board of Governors represents the most ambitious student outcomes goal-setting effort undertaken by the college system and establishes clear markers for measuring the effectiveness of the Student Success Initiative.

“This is the time of year when thousands of students begin their college educations at our campuses. We are making a commitment to in-coming freshmen that more of them will graduate, transfer or complete career technical programs,’’ said Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris.

“Over the past two years, the Board of Governors has adopted comprehensive policy changes designed to help more students complete their educational goals on time. These changes are now being implemented, and by setting these system-wide goals we are signaling that we expect improved outcomes that can be quantified,’’ said Manuel Baca, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Meeting the goals will require the college system to produce 227,000 more certificate and degree earners and transfer students over the next 10 incoming freshman classes than it would if current completion rates remain unchanged.

Achieving the completion outcomes will require increasing the system’s completion rate for degree and transfer-seekers from 48.1 percent to 62.8 percent and completion rate for students in career technical education programs from 53.9 percent to 70.3 percent by the time the class of 2023-24 completes its studies.

The new goals also aim to increase the number of students who successfully complete remedial instruction, who prepare educational plans at the beginning of their academic careers, and who earn degrees under the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which has improved transfer with California State University.

Recent system-wide policy changes that will improve completion rates include priority registration, which requires students to participate in orientation, assessment, and education planning; redesigned student support services designed to keep students on tack academically; streamlined transfer, and closer collaboration with K-12.

Individual community college districts will have the flexibility to set their own goals, with the system-wide targets and local performance data provided by the Student Success Scorecard guiding development of local goals.

“In a state as diverse as ours we do not want to bind districts to a one size fits all approach to improving completion, but we do expect all districts will thoughtfully develop local targets to help more students achieve their educational goals and collectively move our state forward,’’ Harris said.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu

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