Two-Year vs. Four-year: Degree Completion –

It’s no surprise that all college students do not attend just one institution of higher education. A common expectation of graduates from two-year schools is that they transfer to a four-year institution to pursue bachelor’s degrees.

Analysis from a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reveals that the majority, at 55.8%, of mobile students – those attending more than one postsecondary institution concurrently or consecutively – attended a combination of two- and four-year schools at some point during the 2010-2011 academic year.

It’s fair to say that enrollment in a two-year institution of higher education plays a role in successful completion of degrees at four-year colleges or universities. A separate report on student mobility by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reveals how significant a role.

The report finds that in the 2010-2011 school year, 45% of all students who completed a degree at a four-year higher education institution were previously enrolled in a two-year school. More than half of them completed their degree within three years of leaving the two-year school, and 75% percent completed their degree within five years.

Students’ terms of enrollment in the two-year schools varied: 24% were enrolled for a single term, while almost three quarters were enrolled for six terms or less. Fourteen percent were enrolled for seven to nine terms and 12% were enrolled for 10 or more terms.

This trend of two-year to four-year school progression varies by state, according to the report. In 13 U.S. states, more than half of degree recipients at four-year schools had enrolled previously at a two-year school.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN