Community college graduation rates slip

It’s becoming an uphill battle for California community college students trying to graduate or transfer on time.

Only 49.2 percent of students who enrolled in 2006 managed to transfer to a four-year college or earn a certificate within their six-year goal, according to a report from California Community Colleges. In 2002, 52.3 percent of students met their goal.

Thanks to $1.5 billion in funding cuts forced over the past five years, the news wasn’t a huge shocker to California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris:

“This system has been stressed dramatically, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that we’ve seen these numbers soften as a result of that.”

The huge cuts to education forced community colleges to slash class offerings and reduce services. Because of limited class offerings, more than 470,000 students had to waitlist for classes at the start of the fall 2012 semester, according to the Chancellor’s office.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. California Watch reports that the state’s community college districts could save millions of dollars if they were to consolidate their administrative positions in nearby districts.