Joseph D’Ambro presents to City students in the transfer center about the transfer process and available resources, Oct. 5, 2023. Photo by Sean Monney/City Times Media
Joseph D’Ambro presents to City students in the transfer center about the transfer process and available resources, Oct. 5, 2023. Photo by Sean Monney/City Times Media

State-provided data shows transfer rates increasing at City College

Data also shows top universities for transfer, associate’s degree popularity

For many students at San Diego City College, community college is a transitional step toward their next educational goal of attending a university. 

The San Diego Community College District and California Community Colleges provide reports and data about student success metrics, which include transfer statistics.

According to latest figures from the State Chancellor’s Information System, of the 23,159 students enrolled in at least one term at City College in the 2020-21 school year, 16,151 students (69.7%) were working towards a transfer.

Of the City students working towards transfer, 12% (1,975 students) transferred to a 4-year school following the 2020-21 school year.

1,362 of those students who transferred (69.0%) went to a California State University or University of California, while 242 (12.3%) went to a private in-state university and 388 (19.6%) left the state.

Of the 4,839 students who transferred from SDCCD to a university in 2019-20, 32.6% went to San Diego State University.

Transfer counselor Raquel Peshkepia confirms that most students she works with at City College aim to transfer to SDSU. 

“(SDSU) Global Campus is actually another big option for our students,” Peshkepia said, “especially because a lot of our students have gotten used to the remote, the flexibility.”

The next most popular transfers were to UC San Diego (10.6%), National University (5%), CSU San Marcos (3.2%), according to SDCCD Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Research.

The remaining top transfer destinations include Arizona State University (2.9%), UC Berkeley (2.3%), University of San Diego (2.2%), CSU Long Beach (1.7%), San Francisco State University (1.4%) and UCLA (1.3%).

Not only has the City College student population aiming for transfer grown, from 12,242 in 2014-15 to 16,151 in 2020-21, but the percentage who succeed in transferring yearly has also increased, from 8% to 12% over those 6 years. 

Transfer counselor Melody Valencia said the transfer staff encourages students to get their associate’s degree for transfer, which are fully transferable to CSU schools. 

“A lot of times now with the associate’s degree for transfer pathway, that automatically implements an associate’s degree with the requirements for transfer,” Valencia said.

Data shows the popularity of the ADT is rising, from 163 earned in 2014-15 (1%) to 323 in 2021-22 (2%), while the associate’s degree not for transfer has dropped from 520 to 495 in those years. 

City College had the lowest transfer rate in the district at 12% in the 2020-21 school year compared to 13% at Mesa College and 14% at Miramar College, but remained higher than the regional and statewide averages of 10%. 

Both Peshkepia and Valencia said the best way for students to stay on course for transfer is to speak to counselors, create an education plan and utilize transfer resources.

“It’s really important that students not only get in to see a counselor as soon as possible,” Valencia said, “but that they also check in with us on a regular basis so that we can make sure they’re still on track.”

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