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GCC transfer rates take big dip

But the college remains the top transfer institution in the region.

June 09, 2011|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • A crowd gathers before the State of the College Address given by GCC superintendent/president Dawn Lindsay at the college on Thursday, May 12, 2011. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
A crowd gathers before the State of the College Address…

The number of Glendale Community College students transferring to California state universities dropped by more than one-third between the 2007 and 2010, upending a 10-year upswing. Officials say the change is directly related to state funding cuts affecting four-year schools.

During the 2009-10 school year — the most recent year for which data is available — 512 Glendale Community College students transferred to Cal State campuses, down from 806 students in 2007-08, the zenith of a decade-long trend that saw transfers grow by 67%.

The drop-off is rooted in the hundreds of millions of dollars cut from the California State University budget amid the economic downturn and mirrors what is happening at campuses throughout the state, officials said.

“The CSU numbers, we think, are directly related to their inability, due to budget cuts, to accept as many transfer students as they had been,” President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said. “The spaces are so competitive. There just aren’t as many spaces available as there were.”

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Transfer numbers to University of California campuses remained largely flat. During the 2009-10 school year, 297 Glendale Community College students transferred into the UC system, down from 301 students in 2008-09, but up from 285 students in 2007-08, according to the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Data for transfer rates to private institutions was not available.

Even with the decline, Glendale Community College is the top transfer school in its region, which includes Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College and Los Angeles Pierce College, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, which tracks students for six years.

Glendale also ranks third statewide among colleges of comparable size, with Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, UCLA and UC Irvine as the most frequent transfer destinations in recent years.

Schools like Cal State Long Beach and San Diego State — once well within the reach of average students — are now wildly competitive, said local college counselors, who are now having to rework the advice they provide to their students.

Strong grades are no longer enough. Extracurricular activities are increasingly important. And meeting strict deadlines is a must.

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