Las Positas transfer rate exceeds the state average

Bekka Wiedenmeyer

Despite budget cuts, lay offs and the threat of program closures, Las Positas College is a stronghold when it comes to transferring students.

LPC is a full 10 percentage points ahead of the state average for transfer rates. For students looking to transfer in the near future, LPC’s past rates can be a positive indicator of the success such students can experience when moving on to other institutions of higher education. A transfer rate is the percentage of students with the mindset to transfer that actually transfer after a certain period of time.

A report from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) released from the state to LPC describes the transfer rates of California community colleges every seven years. The latest data available, from 2004-2005, shows that LPC’s transfer rate is at 55 percent, a full ten percentage points ahead of the average state rate.

While the study maybe six years old, LPC administrators say the story is the same.  “The main story is that we’re doing better than the average community college,” said Rajinder Samra, Director of Research and Planning at LPC. “We’ve been consistent.”

Whether or not the recent layoffs that took place at LPC, one of which included Scheanelle Green, Transfer Center Coordinator, affects transfer rates has yet to be seen. One thing is for sure, however. Not all LPC students seem to be here forever.

A transfer rate is the percentage of students with the mindset to transfer that actually transfer after a certain period of time.

“There are a number of things. One is how prepared a student is coming into college,” Samra said in response to what affects transfer rates. “The better prepared a student is in terms of their English skills and their Math skills, the more likely they are to transfer sooner versus later.”

Another factor that comes into play when determining transfer rates is the amount of time it takes a student to complete his or her time at school. The current transfer rates, including both the state average and LPC’s, were determined by data gathered over a period of seven years.

“When we’re talking about transfer rates, we’re talking about a cohort of students and we’re talking about a time period, or how much time we give them. The more time we give the students, the higher the transfer rate,” said Samra.

If a student is prepared for what comes ahead when attending LPC, the chance of transferring sooner rather than later is much higher.

Several LPC counselors  have said are important to know your goals from the get-go, as it can serve as motivation to complete your education.

Amy Biggs is a first semester student at LPC. She is currently working on her Associate’s Degree in deaf studies and hopes to transfer in two years.

“Last summer I worked at a camp where I worked with deaf kids and it made me want to go into deaf studies,” said Biggs. “Right now Las Positas is closest to my area so it was the best choice. I need to get my GE and I need to take four semesters of ASL, and then I can transfer.”

Doing what you love is also an important motivator when it comes to completing your education at community college. Charissa Seid is a driven high school student that has been attending LPC since her junior year and is concurrently enrolled in college classes. She is now in her third semester at LPC and hopes to transfer to either UC Santa Barbara or Columbia University.

“The two options I’ve been exploring are either staying here for another two years and then transferring, or trying to transfer out and start as a freshman at a university,” Seid said. “The major I’m looking at is engineering. I’ve always liked taking things apart and tinkering around.”

It is never too late to begin preparing for the future. Regardless of administration changes, every student has the ability to take the initiative and do what they love in order to advance to bigger and better opportunities


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