Understanding contemporary transfer pathways: a multiple case analysis of two to four-year transfer in a single state

Cullop, Ashley M, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Cu-Leadshp Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia
Steinmetz, Christian, Cu-Leadshp Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia
Donnelly, John, University of Virginia

Three quarters of community college students enter higher education with the goal of transferring to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree and as few as 11% succeed. Scholars cite four main reasons for why this gap in baccalaureate completion matters: (1) community colleges today are educating approximately one-half of all undergraduates in the American higher education system; (2) low-income students are much more likely to enter higher education through a community college rather than through a four-year institution; (3) non-traditional students such as adult, part-time, or first generation students, are more likely to start their post-secondary education at a community college; and (4) community colleges educate the highest proportion of minority students within the higher education system. One state-level approach to easing students' transitions between two and four-year institutions has been implementing articulation policies. In the state in which this study was conducted, no formal statewide articulation policy exists; the transfer process, including articulation, is largely governed at an institutional level. This study, focusing on institutional approaches to transfer, explored how administrators conceptualized and implemented their institution's approach to transfer, common elements that existed across institutions, and what practices within institutions were most effective in assisting transfer students.

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EDD (Doctor of Education)
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