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California Community Colleges Face Low Completion Rates

November 17, 2021

California community colleges are struggling with low completion rates as many students fail to graduate with a degree or certificate or transfer within four years, EdSource reported.

A presentation to the system’s Board of Governors Monday revealed that only 14 percent of Latinx students and 9 percent of both Black and Native American students who started college in 2015–16 completed their studies within four years. Asian students had the highest four-year completion rate at 21 percent.

The system also experienced staggering enrollment losses during the pandemic, much like community colleges nationwide. Student head count fell across the 116-college system to approximately 1.8 million during the 2020–21 academic year, down from more than two million prior to the pandemic.

“I just hope we keep a sharp focus on this and are relentless in both reaching out to students who have left us, but also in surrounding the students that we do have with support so they can complete what they came for as quickly as possible,” Tom Epstein, a member of the Board of Governors, said during the meeting.

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