Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Dana D. Burnett

Committee Member

Mitchell Williams

Committee Member

Martha Sharpe


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to identify how demographic characteristics (age, gender, and race) impacted baccalaureate degree attainment for transfer students who transferred from a large, public community college located in an urban area in the Southeastern U.S. to two large public universities also located in urban areas in the Southeastern region of the United States. The study also assessed transfer services and support services for transfer students received at a large, public four-year research institution in the same region.

The quantitative phase of this study employed descriptive statistics to analyze the length of time to baccalaureate degree after transfer. Overall, the results indicated that students with a transferable associate’s degree are more likely to attain a baccalaureate degree and in a shorter time, although there were some interesting differences when the mediators of age, gender, and race were considered.

The qualitative phase of the study enriched the quantitative results by drawing on the experiences of students who had transferred to one large, public research university. Participants reported experiencing “transfer shock” especially in the form of a lack of systematic advising support for transfer students.


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