Percentage of students earning 24 or more credits within one year
First-time Virginia Community College students enrolled in programs in fall 2004
Among first-time Virginia Community College students enrolled in fall 2004, slightly less than one-quarter earned a total of 24 or more credits within one year (24 percent).
Researchers generally agree that students need to earn a certain number of credits during their first year to gain momentum toward completion and transfer. Although the probability of completing a certificate or degree increases almost linearly with the number of first-year credits completed, the indicators in this measure specify a particular threshold number of credits in the first year. Community college students who earn at least 20 credits in their first year are more likely to complete a certificate or associate degree and to earn a bachelor's degree than those who do not. Policies that encourage full-time and summer enrollment in the first year can facilitate early credit accumulation.
Virginia's Community Colleges. (2009, August). On the road to success—some intermediate milestones, Issue #9. Richmond, VA: Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.