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In a recently concluded study, Tatiana Melguizo and Alicia C. Dowd of the University of Southern California, have found that the significance of the ‘diversion effect’ had been previously overstated.

The findings further support the idea that community colleges are helping democratize education by expanding access to it for student from lower socioeconomic status and enabling them to achieve bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions.

The study’s basic focus is to investigate the diversion effect, and it does not focus on the performance of community college transfer students at various institutions compared to students from a higher SES. The study analyzes data obtained from the National Education Longitudinal Study to support the claim that community colleges do not reduce the ability of students from comparable (lower) SES background to obtain a bachelor’s degree. There is not a significant difference between the performance of lower SES students who are transferring to four-year colleges from community colleges and those who are continuing their education at a four-year college.

Please tune back in as I will be posting information about other studies that build a strong case for creating bridge programs through which community college students can transfer to four-year colleges.