Survey: ‘Lack of Clear Pathways’ Barrier to Community College Transfer


Community college presidents are still concerned that a lack of clear pathways for community college students to transfer two years’ worth of credit is a significant barrier to students transferring to four-year colleges to earn a bachelor’s degree.

However, less presidents than in years past hold this view, according to Inside Higher Ed’s fifth annual Survey of Community College Presidents.

The survey asked 235 community college leaders to rank the biggest barriers for community college students to continue their education and earn bachelor’s degrees.

Just over 80 percent of community college presidents said a lack of clear pathways that assure community college students can transfer two years’ worth of credit was a significant barrier. Last year, 90 percent of respondents held this view.

A lack of advising on preparing for a transfer and a lack of interest by four-year institutions also ranked highly as barriers in the minds of those surveyed.

A recent NACAC survey of high school counselors reflected similar views on the transfer process.

Fewer than 40 percent of counselors felt very prepared to discuss local community college transfer policies and many, especially those working at private, non-parochial schools, felt that a transfer from community colleges was highly stigmatized.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at