Good Literature Review About Should Students Get Their AA Before Transfer?
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The Associate of Arts or the A.A degree is basically a 90-credit transfer degree; it fulfills general education requirements among most 4 year degrees in science courses as well as art courses (Townsend, 30). In order to earn an Associate Arts or the A.A, one has to attain a cumulative score points of or grade point average (G.P.A) of two point (2.0) courses or units ranked 100 and above. Additionally, he/she has to complete not less than 15 credits in any community college (Adelman, 13). However, the requirements needed for one to be provided with A.A or an Associate Arts Degree varies from one college to another or from state to another (Townsend, 30).
Each year, approximately 1.5 million students begin their college careers in various community colleges (Graham & Julie, 449). At least eighty percent of these students usually show optimism in joining or completing a bachelor’s degree, however, only a quarter of these students successfully transfer to Universities or the next bachelor’s degree level. On a third of the students that transfer complete the Associate Arts Degree (Graham & Julie, 449). The main question that arises from this issue is: Is it appropriate for students to jump ship the Associate Arts Degree as they transfer or it is a mandatory to complete an A.A before transferring? This is a complex question to answer considering the fact that community college students who complete the coursework for Associate Arts degree have different motivations compared to those students that do not complete the coursework before embarking on transfer.
In a research published by the Community College Research Center (CCRC), it is indicated that community college students who complete at least 50 community college credits before embarking on transfer have 77% likelihood that they will complete their bachelor’s degrees in the four years designated for bachelor’s course and a fifty-two percent higher chance of completing bachelor’s degree within a period of six years (Kinnick & Ken, 300).
The research attributed this outcome to the fact that most community college students who complete at least 50 associated credits are likely to create or possess a structured combination of courses that lead to desirable degree programs, in this regard, they have easier time compared to students who do not complete the community college 90 or 50 credits when making their transfers. The research also indicates that students who complete at least 50 community college credits, but do not attain Associate Arts degrees might have had poor combination of credits that create challenges when transferring to bachelor’s degrees, hence leading to challenges in their efforts to complete bachelor’s degrees (Kinnick & Ken, 300). That is, students who transfer without attaining Associate Arts Degree are likely to have taken community college credit courses that are not required for purposes of transfer within the University system.
In conclusion, the acquisition of A.A degrees is of paramount importance and students should attain them before engaging in transfer. The challenges faced by students while engaging in the transfer of college credits are evident and this could be the main reason why many community college students engage in early transfers. One of these challenges is the loss of credits in the community colleges when one engages in community college credit transfer; it is the major barrier faced by students as they attempt to transfer to bachelor’s degree levels (Inman & Larry, 4). It calls for appropriate actions among concerned stakeholders i.e. government and management teams.
Adelman, Clifford. "Answers in the Tool Box. Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor's Degree Attainment." (1999).
Graham, Steve W., and Julie Caplow Hughes. "Moving Down The Road: Community College Students’ Academic Performance at the University." Community College Journal of Research and Practice 18.5 (2007): 449-464.
Inman, W. Elliot, and Larry Mayes. "The importance of being first: Unique characteristics of first generation community college students." Community College Review 26.4 (2009): 3-22.\
Kinnick, Mary K., and Ken Kempner. "Beyond “front door” access: attaining the bachelor's degree." Research in Higher Education 29.4 (2008): 299-318.
Townsend, Barbara K. "Redefining the community college transfer mission." Community College Review 29.2 (2011): 29-42.
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