Percentage of students who graduated within six years
First-time, full-time students who entered Texas Community Colleges in fall 2004
Among first-time, full-time students who entered Texas Community Colleges in fall 2004, approximately 5 percent earned a certificate. Another 11 percent of students earned an associate degree and 13 percent earned a baccalaureate degree. Asian American students had the highest rate of baccalaureate degree completion (21 percent) and the lowest rate of certificate completion (3 percent). Hispanic/Latino students completed associate degrees at a higher rate than Asian American, White, and African American students (12 percent vs. 8-11 percent), and along with white students, had the highest rate of certificate completion (5 percent).
At community colleges, graduation means attainment of a certificate or associate degree. However, many students attend community colleges to take lower-division courses for a bachelor's degree, and some transfer to a four-year institution without obtaining a credential. From the perspective of the community college, these students have finished a curriculum that prepared them for transfer and, therefore, should be considered as having completed. Some states even track and report which community college students graduate from other institutions. Most sources, however, do not specify what proportion of transfer students have finished the coursework required for upper-division standing at the four-year college, and research suggests that many students transfer without reaching this threshold. A completion rate that combines transfer and degree attainment is sometimes referred to as a "success rate."
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. (2011). Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board community and technical colleges: 6-year graduation rates of first-time entering undergraduates, fall 2004.