2023-123 Audit Scope and Objectives
Community College Transfers
The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to California's higher education systems' efforts to improve the rate of community college transfers to University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU). The audit's scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:
- Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
- Evaluate the progress that the California Community Colleges (CCC) has made toward improving the number of community college students transferring to California's public four-year institutions. Specifically, obtain global data for the past five years—if not available, for a selection of campuses, determine the following:
- The number and rate of CCC students who transferred to a UC campus or a CSU campus.
- The community college, UC, and CSU campuses with the highest and lowest transfer rates.
- The average time and accumulated credits earned by students before transferring to a UC or CSU campus and the percentage of students who received a CCC degree before transferring.
- To the extent possible, the effect of any systemwide or regulatory changes on the above outcomes.
- Identify any systemwide, regional, or campus-specific trends, including trends among racial and ethnic groups and among Pell Grant recipients.
- For a selection of campuses, assess the quality and accessibility of communications and information directed to CCC students regarding transfer options to UC or CSU campuses. Determine whether barriers exist that prevent CCC students, particularly underrepresented students, including Black, Hispanic, low-income, and first-generation students, from transferring to public four-year universities.
- Review and assess the role played by the CCC Chancellor's Office and a selection of community college districts and community college campuses in the transfer of students to UC and CSU campuses and identify options for increasing the number of applicants for transfer. For the selected entities, perform the following:
- To the extent possible, evaluate discrepancies among CCC campuses and districts related to the percent of students who successfully use transfer options to transfer to a four-year university.
- Determine the number of CCC students obtaining an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) and the number of students with an ADT applying for transfer to UC or CSU and, to the extent possible, why there are differences.
- To the extent possible, assess the extent to which all CSU and UC transfer options, such as ADT, the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG), Transfer Pathways, and Pathways+ programs have expanded transfer opportunities for CCC students. Specifically, perform the following for the past five years:
- Determine the number, rate, and demographics of students who completed each transfer option and were admitted to their preferred campus and major or were redirected and admitted to another campus and major.
- Determine the extent to which transfer options are available in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields.
- Determine the demographics, academic achievement, and transfer rates of students participating in each of the transfer options by campus.
- Determine the number of CCC students denied admission to UC and CSU by age, race and ethnicity, region, and whether they completed a transfer option.
- For CSU graduates who transferred to CSU with an ADT program, determine the number of accumulated credits the students earned upon graduating from CSU and the extent that they earned more credits than necessary.
- Assess the efforts in the past five years by UC and CSU to streamline the transfer process and improve transfer rates to the four-year-university system, as well as to students' preferred campuses and majors.
- Assess transfer requirements and admission standards and practices across a selection of UC and CSU campuses and how these standards and practices may be streamlined to increase transfer rates to these campuses. For these campuses, determine the following for the past five years:
- The number and percentage of CCC transfer students by race, ethnicity, gender, income status, geography, and community college campus and district.
- The average accumulated credits and grade point average of CCC transfer students by major.
- The extent to which campuses use campus- or major-impaction as a reason to deny transfer students admission. If campuses do consider impaction, evaluate the methodology campuses use for determining impaction of the campus or majors and whether campuses adequately communicate this information to students.
- The extent to which admissions consideration for ADT earners is a factor in UC's admission of CCC transfer students.
- Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.
California State Auditor's Office