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Palomar College Learning For Success

Student Right to Know

"Student Right-To-Know" (SRTK) refers to a Federally-mandated public disclosure of a college's Completion Rate and Transfer Rate. The intent of Student Right to Know is to provide prospective students a statistic of comparable effectiveness that they can use in their college decision-making process. All colleges and universities nationwide are effectively required to participate in the disclosure of rates.

These rates are based on a limited cohort (or group) of students which are tracked for a three-year period. The cohort is limited because it includes only students who entered Palomar Community College in the fall term as first-time, full-time students seeking a degree, certificate or transfer.

Completion Rate: A student is included in the Completion Rate if they attained a certificate or degree or became "transfer prepared" within the three-year period. Transfer-prepared is defined as having completed 60 transferable units with a GPA of 2.0 or better.

Transfer Rate: A student is included in the Transfer Rate if, within the three-year tracking period, they transferred to another postsecondary institution prior to receiving a certificate or degree or becoming "transfer-prepared".


SRTK has its merits in that it attempts to provide a standardized measure of college effectiveness nationwide. However, in order to fully understand what SRTK rates mean for a college, one should also know its limitations. First, the cohort group can be quite small compared to the entire Community College population and is therefore not fully representative of all educational activities at a college. Many Community Colleges do not have the primary mission of producing only transferrable students. There can also be data collection issues involved in the acquisition of valid numbers used in deriving SRTK rates; since there is no central nationwide "clearinghouse" of transfer data, it is impossible to generate accurate transfer-out rates. Additionally, the Federal methodology lowers the Transfer rate for Community Colleges, because transfer students who are considered completers are disallowed in the calculation of the Transfer rate.

SRTK Rates are derived and reported yearly on the IPEDS-GRS (Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System-Graduation Rate Survey). The IPEDS-GRS also tracks part-time student cohorts over a six (6) year period; however, full-time cohort status after 3 years is the only basis for calculating SRTK rates.

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  • graduates: Palomar Community College District
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