MORE STUDENTS, STEADY NUMBER OF TRANSFERS AT AREA COLLEGES
The number of students at the area’s two year colleges is on the rise, as is the number of students starting what they anticipate will be four-year college careers.
However, officials at Columbia-Greene and Hudson Valley community college said they have yet to see an increase in the number of students transferring out of their institutions after receiving associates degrees.
“The transfer rate for students has remained steady over the last decade at between 40 and 45 percent,” said Eric Bryant, a spokesman for Hudson Valley Community College.
At Columbia-Greene Community College, Communications Director Allen Kovler said the rate of students transferring has likewise remained steady at about 40 percent over the last four years.
However, if optimism and plans are a factor, those rates will be on the rise.
Both college officials said they have heard from new students that they will transfer.
“From 2009 to 2010 … the percentage of our incoming students who during their registration said they planned to transfer to a four year college increased from 45.3 percent in 2009 to 50.3 percent in 2010,” Kovler said.
At Hudson Valley, Bryant said the number of students starting down a path of what they say will be a four-year degree is likewise on the rise.
‘We, like community colleges across the country, have more students choosing to start their educations here instead of at a four year college,” said Bryant.
The depressed economy, coupled with rising costs at four-year institutions is a key factor.
Bryant cited the case of one engineering student who started at HVCC after being accepted at Stanford and then transferred to the well-known California institution after graduating from HVCC.
“She saved at least $60,000”, he said.
“Parents and students are realizing you can start your four-year degree at a community college and save in tuition, room-and-board and other expenses,” Bryant added.
The number of students at the local institutions have skyrocketed in recent years, with Hudson Valley and Columbia-Greene exceeding their previous year record each of the last two fall semesters.
As the numbers indicate, both colleges still serve a clientele of students, like nurses, mechanics and the like, seeking out careers upon completion of their associates or certificate programs.
But, as the economy continues to falter, the clientele’s demands may shift.