Study Assesses How Transfer Pathways Work for Students in Los Angeles

The Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), awarded by the California Community Colleges, provides a guaranteed pathway for students to transfer to a four-year university in a specific major. Since 2018, The L.A. Compact Student Success Workgroup (SSWG) has been involved in developing a study using their own institutional data to evaluate the effectiveness of the ADT.

Through a partnership with the College Futures Foundation, the L.A. Compact secured funding to study ADT offerings and subsequent awards by L.A. area community colleges, as well as transfers and awards by the CSU campuses represented in the Compact. The SSWG then contracted with the research firm WestEd to collect and analyze data to look at these key transitions in greater depth.

Earlier this summer, we convened the SSWG to review the initial findings from the study. Though the details are still embargoed to the public, we learned more about the types of majors students were pursuing in the community college system, how long it took for students to complete their majors, and what metrics showed certain disparities, such as the over-awarding of degrees in some fields but not others. In September, the group met again to review post-transfer CSU data, where we learned about the kinds of majors students are transferring into, the average cost and time to complete a bachelor’s degree, and what we can do better to support our students in choosing paths relevant to today’s economy.

We’ll be the first to admit that there is more work to be done! As we are committed to creating equity for students, we will be working on assessing the data further to see which students are the most impacted, positively and negatively, by current policies. And as we are committed to our institutional partners, we will continue to assess campus-specific data intent on highlighting best practices. Upon completion of the data assessment, we will work with our institutional partners to design new strategies, based on data, and implement them across the region, in hopes of improving outcomes for all students.

For more information on the progress of our ADT work or the L.A. Compact’s other collective action in the higher education space, please contact Sr. Manager for Postsecondary Initiatives, Adam Gottlieb, at [email protected].

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