Los Medanos College (LMC) developed the Transfer Academy (TA) as a signature program to reshape the experience of first-time students, including Latino and first-generation students. The multi-year program supports students who want to transfer to a four-year college or university by providing a dynamic academic experience with strong supports in and outside of the classroom. The program takes students entering below college level course work and places them in a coordinated and accelerated pipeline with high expectations and strong support for meeting their educational goals. Support includes integrated courses in addition to mentoring, study groups, academic advising, workshops, university tours, and transfer activities. Students are required to enroll full-time; take math, English, and a first-year seminar in their first semester; maintain a 2.5 G.P.A.; and participate in program requirements. Each fall, 80 students are recruited to join a cohort with an additional 25 students added in the spring.
Transfer Academy was developed to improve five outcomes:
- Improve the success rate for first-time students in the first semester
- Improve Fall-to-Fall retention for first-time students to increase their transfer rate
- Increase number of transfer-ready and transfer-directed students in the program
- Increase speed to achieving transfer-ready and transfer-directed status
- Increase number of first-time students taking twelve units or more per semester
By increasing the number of units students take per semester, program results have shown a faster transfer rate and improved course success and retention.
- Data show a higher percentage of students reaching transfer eligibility within three years compared to the general college average of four or more years.
- 56% of the Fall 2011 cohort reached transfer ready status within three years, including 70% of Latinos.
- Of the Fall 2014 cohort of 83 students, 37 became transfer directed by Spring 2015
- TA has an 80% success rate, higher than the college average (71% in Fall 2014). Latino students are generally succeeding and completing at higher rates in the first semester than the program average.
- The number of Latino students in the TA has increased. The Fall 2011 cohort (78 students) was comprised of 30 (39%) Latinos, while the Fall 2014 cohort (83) had 46 (55%) Latinos and the Fall 2015 cohort (119) grew to 66 (58%) Latinos.