Community Colleges Create Paths to Four-Year Schools

Last Updated by Nancy Rogan on

Attending college is often a dream for many students and their families.  When you are the first person in your family to have that dream, it has so much more meaning. As community colleges are often the stepping stone for a four-year degree, often other challenges create more hurdles for students.

While the majority of college freshmen in America today begin at two-year community colleges, their credits often don’t transfer to four-year institutions. In fact, nearly one in seven community college students loses 90 percent of their credits when they transfer to a four-year institution.  And, nationally, 80 percent of students entering community college say they want a four-year degree. But only 17 percent actually succeed.

Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida is working to change those statistics through a program called DirectConnect.  DirectConnect is an agreement between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida, the second-largest public university in America, which guarantees students who earn a two-year degree admission to UCF.

An education for many in an area of Florida that is full of low-wage tourism and hospitality jobs is a path to a career with a liveable wage,  social mobility, and the dream of a better life.   

Watch the full PBS NewsHour report here.



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