BCCAT has used survey data from Student Outcomes surveys (such as the Baccalaureate Graduates Survey, BGS, and the Diploma, Associate Degree and Certificate Student Outcomes, DACSO) of former students to ensure that the transfer route continues to serve students well as they transition out of post-secondary education and into their subsequent lives.
The equality of outcomes in two and five year follow-up surveys suggessts equally positive outcomes for both direct entry and transfer students. Some movement of students among programs, either because they need to complete prerequisites for entry to another program or because they have changed their mind, is normal and desirable. The most appropriate route is best understood through consideration of students' life circumstances and personal characteristics.
This report considered credentials of all types: one-year certificates, two-year diplomas and associate degrees, and four-year bachelor’s degrees. Within five years of entering post-secondary education, 42% of students have earned a credential. The figure rises to 58% when the 2001/02 immediate entrants are tracked for seven years. Not only are students mobile among institutions, but they also switch programs (both at their original and in their new institutions). Half the credential completers earned a bachelor’s degree, 25% a certificate, 20% a certificate and the remaining 5% completed some other credential, e.g. a citation. Bachelor’s recipients did not frequently switch institutions: 95% completed in the same institution as where they first began.
The two-year associate degree credential was approved in BC in 1991. It was intended to promote a rigorous and balanced academic program of study that, among other things, would prepare students for transfer to upper division baccalaureate studies. The trends in the number of associate degree credentials awarded indicated a fluctuating interest in the degree. BCCAT is currently engaged in further research on associate degree (link?)
BC University Outcomes for Direct Entry and Transfer Students: Comparison of the Class of 2000 and Class of 1996 Five Years after Graduation. BC Council on Admissions and Transfer: Research Results, September 2007. Karlinski, Jean.
The results of this study refer to students five years after receiving a bachelor’s degree from a research university, and compare students who did all their studies at university to those who transferred into university from another institution. The five-year follow-ups of the class of 1996 and of the class of 2000 found no major differences between direct entrants and college transfers on most key outcomes, including satisfaction with their university experience, continuation of studies, unemployment rates, salaries, and social engagement. The differences that did emerge were in the area of student financing and debt. Satisfaction and levels of professional employment were comparable, regardless of the route taken to the degree.
Only a few differences were apparent between the BC teaching-intensive universities (former university colleges) and traditional research-intensive universities two years after graduation. Both groups had very positive labour market outcomes, life-long learning orientation, and satisfaction levels. Within this context of generally positive results, university college graduates had higher program satisfaction (47% “very satisfied” compared to 36% at the research universities) and education-related employment, while university graduates were more likely to on to further studies and carried slightly less debt.