Illinois Public Community College Transfer and Completion Rates

by Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher / Feb 4, 2016

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program in conjunction with the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University recently reported that Illinois is among the top five states where community college transfers earn four-year degrees. Illinois ranks 3rd for percentage of transfer students who earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of starting at a community college; the state also ranks 4th for overall percentage of bachelor’s degree outcomes among new student transfers from community colleges conferring baccalaureate degrees within six years. Illinois has 17% of community college student transfers matriculating to four-year institutions and completing BA/BS degrees while nationally only 14% of community college transfer students graduate from four-year institutions within six years.

The tradition of college attendance being first-time, full-time at any institution without stop out, concurrent enrollment, or transfer is outmoded. With multiple institutional attendance and student swirl being the new norm, institutions of higher learning have to be more nimble and collaborative across two- and four-year contexts. For the last two decades, the Illinois Articulation Initiative has served to provide transfer agreements for over 100 colleges and universities statewide, facilitating pathways to institutions that have articulated programs of study that lead to the baccalaureate degree. In addition, iTransfer serves as a portal for transfer assistance in the state of Illinois for students seeking transfer between Illinois higher education institutions. Browse our site for information to aid student transition. Although more can be done to foster seamless transfer pathways, it is encouraging that Illinois is making strides with college completion via community college transfer.