More than 1,500 students who were enrolled in classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College two years ago went on to four-year colleges or universities.
The numbers come from an analysis by the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization that tracks enrollment and degree records at colleges and universities around the country.
The data gave PVCC administrators their first clear picture of student transfers at colleges across the country. President Frank Friedman said he’s pleased with the outcome.
“To tell you the truth, when I first got that number I was surprised it was that large,” Friedman said. “I think it really shows the tremendous value of the education here at PVCC.”
About 7,500 students were enrolled at the college during the 2011-12 school year, Friedman said. The college’s own records put the full-time equivalent enrollment around 3,000 that year.
But most students who sign up for classes are not interested in a four-year degree, he said — they’re getting a professional certification or learning a new skill.
Of the 1,563 students who went on to four-year institutions, about two-thirds stayed in-state, including 251 who attended the University of Virginia.
Many students who left the state enrolled at top universities, including Boston College, the University of North Carolina, the University of Maryland, Harvard University and Penn State University.
Of those 1,563 students, about 433 took dual-enrollment courses, which allow students to earn college credit while in high school.
“That indicates to us that we helped those students achieve their educational goal,” Friedman said. “We were quite pleased to see that.”
Another 605 students formally transferred from PVCC into a four-year institution during the 2012-13 school year, while 525 attended more than one college — including PVCC — before transferring.