Continuous Enrollment: California

Percentage of first-time degree-seeking California Community College students who maintained continuous enrollment

What Is Measured?

Percentage of students continuously enrolled

Who Is Counted?

First-time degree-seeking California Community College students enrolled in 2000-01

What It Tells Us

Among first-time degree-seeking California Community College students enrolled in 2000-01, less than half (40 percent) maintained continuous enrollment during the period between 2000-01 and 2006-07.

Why It's Important

Students who enroll continuously in community college are more likely to complete an associate degree, transfer to a four-year institution, and earn a bachelor's degree than students who do not enroll, or "stop out," for a significant period of time. Continuous enrollment is usually defined as enrollment every consecutive term exclusive of summer terms or enrollment with no break greater than four or five months. Students who stop out are not earning credits during their absence and may find it difficult to resume their momentum in community college afterward.

About the Data

Degree-seeking students: include students who enrolled in more than six units during their first year.

Continuous enrollment is defined in the original source as enrollment with no periods of stopouts. However, the period of enrollment is not defined and may vary for students.

Estimates are from student records data available in the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Management Information Systems. The results are based on students who enrolled in one or more credit-bearing course and more than a total of six units during the 2000-01 academic year, excluding noncredit students and students concurrently enrolled in high school.

Data Source

Offenstein, J., Moore, C., & Shulock, N. (2010, April). Advancing by degrees: A framework for increasing college completion. Sacramento, CA and Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy and The Education Trust.