Of all associate degrees reported to the Clearinghouse for the 2010-11 academic year, 575,067 were earned by students with no previous degrees or certificates. Within the next six academic years, 65.1 percent of these students enrolled at four-year institutions and 41.4 percent earned bachelor’s degrees.
In the 2015-16 academic year, 49 percent of students who completed a four-year degree were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years.
Key community college metrics are provided for three areas — college access and persistence, transfer and mobility, and certificate and degree completion — which are important indicators of community college progress.
This report examines time to degree completion for a cohort of students who earned an associate degree as their first and only postsecondary degree or a bachelor’s degree as their first four-year degree between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. Overall, the average time enrolled for associate and bachelor’s degree earners was 3.3 years and 5.1 years, respectively. However, as the report shows, the time required for successful degree attainment could be influenced by the pathway the student followed as well as by factors, such as stop outs and less than full-time enrollment status.
During the Great Recession, there was a slight increase in the percentage of bachelor’s degree earners who opted to continue their educations at two-year institutions. However, that percentage has now dropped well below pre-recession levels, with only 5.8 percent of 2013-14 bachelor’s degree earners having returned to college at two-year institutions.
Of all associate degrees reported to the National Student Clearinghouse for the 2009-10 academic year, 536,351 were earned by students with no previous degrees or certificates. Within the next six academic years, over 64 percent of these students enrolled at a four-year institution and 41 percent earned a bachelor’s degree.
During the 2014-15 academic year, 9.4 percent of all students attended more than one institution, a figure that has remained constant for the last three years. In each year shown, the mobility rate was highest for students who began the academic year at a two-year public institution.
Of all associate degrees earned in 2008-09 that were reported to the National Student Clearinghouse, 488,046 were found to be the first postsecondary credential earned by a student. Forty-one percent of these students went on to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.
In the 2013-14 academic year, 46 percent of students who completed a four-year degree were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years.
Nationally, 14.6 percent of all 2013-14 college graduates attended college in at least one other state or territory in the 10 years prior to receiving a credential.
Just over 9% of all students attended more than one institution during the 2012-13 academic year. Overall, student mobility rates increased from 2010-11 to 2011-12, and then stabilized in 2012-13.
6.5% of students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2008-09 enrolled in a two-year institution within the next two academic years, an increase from 5.9 percent of 2004-05 graduates.
For many students, the path to successfully completing a degree at a four-year institution includes enrollment at one or more two-year institutions. In the 2010-11 academic year, 45 percent of all students who completed a degree at a four-year institution had previously enrolled at a two-year institution.
On average, 15.1 percent of all U.S. postsecondary students who received undergraduate degrees in 2010-11 had previously attended college in at least one other state or territory. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has identified the percentage of undergraduate degree completers in the 2010-11 academic year who had prior enrollments in at least one other state or territory.