According to recently obtained SUNY data, 83% of the 263 Genesee Community College graduates who transferred to four-year State University of New York colleges in 2005 were still enrolled at their new colleges a year later. These findings were reported to Genesee’s Board of Trustees at the September meeting by Carol Marriott, Director of Institutional Research.
In fact, the fall-to-fall retention rate of Genesee students transferring to other SUNY colleges has been improving, Ms. Marriott told trustees. Of the 233 students who transferred in 2003, 70.4% succeeded during their first year and were enrolled the following fall. Of the 221 students who transferred a year later – in 2004 – the fall-to-fall retention rate increased to 79.2%.
With the increased emphasis on accountability and assessment in higher education SUNY now collects a wide variety of data on college performance and student outcomes. “We submit much raw data to SUNY, and now we’re seeing very useful system-wide data come back to us,” Ms. Marriott said.
Ms. Marriott also pointed out several other observations on the SUNY fall-to-fall retention data:
• The most popular transfer college for Genesee graduates is SUNY Brockport. Other popular transfer colleges include SUNY Geneseo, The University at Buffalo, and Buffalo State College. Buffalo State has experienced a large growth in transfer students from Genesee, increasing from 6.9% of transfer students in 2003 to 20.5% in 2005.
• Genesee graduates who transfer to Brockport, Geneseo, UB, and Buffalo State do well. Fall-to-fall retention in 2005 was 85.2% at Buffalo State; 84.7% at Brockport; 79.3% at Geneseo; and 77.5% at UB.
• Fall-to-fall retention rates for Genesee graduates who transfer tend to be better than average retention rates for all SUNY community colleges. In 2005, the fall-to-fall retention rate for Genesee transfer students was 82.5%, while the overall retention rate for SUNY community college transfer students was 77.8%.
Additionally, Ms. Marriott said that “faculty and staff members should continue to study the fall-to-fall retention data. There are many possible reasons why our graduates are succeeding. Certainly I like to think that we are doing a good job preparing students for transfer. It’s also possible that the transfer institutions themselves are providing services that boost retention. And it’s possible that data from individual academic programs might point out other factors that influence retention. The more we can learn about the reasons students succeed in transfer institutions, the better we can serve students who prepare to transfer.”