Recent Study by The RP Group Helps Identify Key Factors That Impact Transfer Success Among African American/Black California Community College Students

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Dec. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly two-thirds of African American/Black individuals who enter college in California begin their postsecondary education journey at a community college, yet, they are not being provided with the supports necessary to succeed, as evidenced by the fact that  nearly half leave the California Community Colleges (CCC) system without any degree or certificate, or without transferring to a university. The RP Group, a nonprofit focused on research and education, recently released important results from their African American Transfer Tipping Point (AATTP) study, which examines the key factors that affect transfer success for African American/Black students.

The AATTP study builds on The RP Group’s landmark transfer research initiative, Through the Gate, which documented that while African American/Black students are less likely to make it “near the transfer gate,” those who do reach this milestone are more than twice as likely to transfer than their peers.

The current study, which examined outcomes for a sample of over 800,000 students (including nearly 70,000 African American/Black students) enrolled at a CCC between 2011-2016, found the following:

  • Completing units in a timely manner was one of the most predictive factors of whether an African American/Black student makes it near the transfer gate.

  • African American/Black students who passed both transfer-level English and math in their first year were over 300% more likely to make it near the transfer gate.

  • African American/Black students who were put on academic probation were 70% less likely to make it near the transfer gate than African American/Black students who were not put on probation

The study results are presented in three research briefs with detailed information about what factors act as facilitators of or barriers to transfer for African American/Black students, and highlight key recommendations to the community colleges from college practitioners and students from five colleges that have high transfer rates among African American/Black students.

In addition, The RP Group hosted a special webinar highlighting key findings from this AATTP research, and facilitated a panel discussion with students and practitioners talking about their transfer experiences and support for African American/Black students. 

“My first two semesters after returning to school, I literally fought for my life, and then being on academic probation just put a dark cloud over my whole experience,” shared one panelist. “I then was overcompensating as a student because I did not want that label. If I had been a criminal on probation, there would have been some type of program to help. But, in school, I didn’t feel there was anyone focused on what caused this, even though I met with counselors.”

Reflecting on students’ experiences, Dr. Darla Cooper, Executive Director of The RP Group notes “Language matters. The term ‘academic probation’ is triggering for many African American/Black students and speaks to the need for colleges to re-examine how these practices and processes are viewed by students as either supportive or punitive.”

About The RP Group

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


  1. BRIEF 1: “Identifying the Factors That Impact Transfer among African American/Black Community College Students”
  2. BRIEF 2: “Unpacking the Factors That Impact the Success of Transfer-Motivated African American/Black Community College Students”
  3. BRIEF 3: “Recommendations for Supporting Transfer-Motivated African American/Black Community College Students”

The RP Group | 369-B Third Street #397 | San Rafael, CA 94901
Media Contact | Jenica Lancy | Director of Communications | 510.527.8500