Inside Higher Ed Logo

Lagging Behind

Inside Higher Ed

Sara Weissman
November 22, 2021
Disappointingly low student completion rates in the California Community Colleges system are prompting campus leaders to focus on retention efforts as they also try to stem enrollment declines.
California Community Colleges system leaders say they will double down on improving graduation rates in response to data that show only a small percentage of enrolled students are completing their studies within four years.
According to a presentation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors last week, just 14 percent of Latinx students and 9 percent of 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, and white students had a completion rate of 17 percent.
These completion rates show modest improvements compared to the previous year: 13 percent of Latinx students, 7 percent of Black students, 9 percent of Native American students, 19 percent of Asian students and 15 percent of white students who started college in 2014–15 earned a degree or certificate within four years.