Community College Transfers Increasingly Enroll at Multiple Campuses

Last fall, about 69,665 students attended two schools, nearly 5,000 went to three schools and about 400 to four or five schools, according to data from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office. (The numbers include students who take online classes; officials are unsure how many are in that category.)

Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2012

We hear this exact commuting experience from more and more transfer students.  Community colleges have been reducing the number of sections per course offered in a semester, while also gaining greater demand for student enrollment, creating less access to transfer-required courses, and pushing students to enroll at multiple campuses.   The unmeasurable stress of commuting between campuses and the efforts required to know multiple campuses’ class schedules in order to enroll in the right classes, can distract students from their academic studies.  Plus, in between their driving, students must also meet with a trusted advisor to know what classes to take–and again with greater demand and budget constraints, advisors may have less office hours or longer wait times–especially when most community college advisors are available only on a “walk-in” basis.

Often, high school seniors and their families tell us that community college is the most likely option, since the student “doesn’t know what s/he wants to study (i.e. choose as a major) and s/he might as well save money while just taking general education classes, anyways.”  Understand the advising available to students and any projected changes to class scheduling, when considering both the financial and possible stress costs, as well as extended time in the community college beyond the traditional 2 years, just so the student can qualify for transfer to a four year college.  Then, students and their families will be able to make the most beneficial choices about college.