Pasadena City College (PCC) is one of the top transfer community colleges in the state of California and they are on the receiving end of the 2018 Champion of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer award.

Transfer rates for people of color at PCC have also been on the rise and line up with the recent honor the school has received.

The Campaign for College Opportunity selects 16 community colleges across the state to be honored as Champions of Higher Education. The award is given out to schools who significantly increase the amount of students that transfer with associate degrees and to students moving on to California State University (CSU) campuses.

During the 2016-2017 school year, PCC gave out 1,040 Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) to its students, a growth of 240 ADT’s from the 2015-2016 academic year, making the college one of the more prolific transfer schools in California. Pasadena City College is ranked first in Southern California and second in the state for awarding transfer degrees.

Pasadena City College fields a high number of minority students and people of color, Hispanics alone make up close to half of all enrollees. According to a new equity tool created by PCC’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, around 152,000 of the college’s 186,833 2017-2018 academic year enrollments identified themselves as people of color, or someone who is not ethnically white or of European lineage.

Asians, Hispanics and African Americans make up the bulk of PCC’s minority groups. Asians are nearly 26 percent of the student population while African Americans account for roughly 3.7 percent of the school’s population.

Asians see a success rate of 80 percent, higher than any known, non-white demographic. Hispanics and African Americans experience lower success rates than their Asian schoolmates, sitting around 67 percent and 64 percent respectively.

While the overall success rate might be lower for Hispanics and African Americans, an upward trend in the amount of transfers to University of California (UC) campuses and California State Universities (CSU) by these demographics indicate a possible change in PCC’s ability to guide its non-white students to higher education.

Tameka Alexander, Director of Outreach and Transfer at PCC accrued transfer rate information that showed a rise, and in some areas a doubling of the amount of Hispanic and African American students transferring to UC and CSU schools this past academic year. A total of 1,999 transfer students from PCC moved on to California universities.

The information showed that of the 7,146 African American students enrolled at PCC last year, 35 went on to the California State University school system and 20 continued with their education at University of California campuses. In terms of transfer percentage and representation, the 55 black transfer students accounted for 2.8 percent UC and CSU transfers, coming in nearly a percent short when compared with school ethnicity numbers, where they represent 3.7 percent of the school population. While African American transfer statistics show a lower number in comparison with PCC’s black demographic, an increase of 15 transfers to UC and CSU schools occurred, including a doubling of transfers to the UC system compared to the 2015-2016 school year.

Hispanics have seen a steady increase in transfers to UC’s and CSU’s over the last couple years, but when juxtaposed with their school representation numbers they fall significantly short. Of the 1,999 transfers, Hispanics made up 613 of them. That’s approximately 31 percent of transfers, well below the 50 percent PCC representation statistic.

PCC’s transfer center has two transfer assistance programs open to anyone, however they are specifically geared to help people of color further their education and assist in the transfer process.

Chicanos/Latinos Advancing in the Values of Education (CLAVE) and Transfer Bound/ROPE (TBROPE) offer workshops, transfer events and general assistance to those looking for help and a push in the right direction.

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