New Research Brief From The RP Group Highlights Unique Challenges Facing California Community College Students' Transfer Paths to Universities

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The RP Group, a research and education-focused non-profit, recently announced its new research brief, "Students Speak: Understanding the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Their Transfer Journeys."

California Community Colleges (CCC) serve about two million students annually. Each year, an average of 50,000 transfer-eligible students complete all or most of their transfer requirements yet do not make it through to a university.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made students’ transfer journeys more difficult. Survey findings from nearly 8,000 CCC students revealed:

  • Students are more worried than before about how to pay for their education and balance their numerous work, family, and school responsibilities.
  • Many struggle to access support networks and the information they need to prepare for transfer.
  • They are unaware of changes community colleges and universities are making to help them stay on their transfer path.
  • Student-centered communication, direct access to transfer professionals, and expanded financial assistance are now even more critical to avoid further derailing transfer students’ achievement of a bachelor’s degree.

"Given these findings, community colleges and universities must be more proactive in reaching out to students who are close to transfer," said Dr. Darla M. Cooper, Executive Director of the RP Group. "Not only do students need to know about policy or process changes that could benefit them, but they also need to be informed as to how they can pay for the university and be assured they will be supported in their efforts to balance family, work, and school after they transfer."

This research is part of the RP Group’s Through the Gate research and was made possible with generous funding from College Futures Foundation and ECMC Foundation.

Mission Statement
As the representative organization for Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE) professionals in the California Community Colleges (CCC) system, the RP Group strengthens the ability of CCC to discover and undertake high-quality research, planning, and assessments that improve evidence-based decision-making, institutional effectiveness, and success for all students.

About the RP Group
The RP Group is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that strives to build a community college culture that views planning, evidence-based decision-making, and institutional effectiveness as integral, collaborative strategies that work together to promote student success, increase equitable outcomes, improve college operations, and inform practitioners and policymakers. Visit for more information.  

The RP Group | Media Contact | Jenica Lancy | Director of Communications