Factors that influence the successful transfer of two-year college students to four-year research universities
Fowler, Lisa Fife
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The purpose of this research was to study the experiences two-year college students had as they transferred to four-year research universities. Through individual interviews, using qualitative research techniques, the positive and negative factors that influence transition from a two-year college with an established articulation program to a four-year research university were identified and grouped with recommendations for improved practices. These recommendations can be utilized by both two- and four-year colleges to develop informed transfer programs, policies, and procedures that support bachelor degree attainment for students who transfer. This research is of particular interest now with national attention focused on the need for more timely degree completion. It is also significant because the number of students beginning higher education at two-year colleges is rapidly increasing. This study included interviews with students who attended and graduated from Georgia Perimeter College, a large two-year college in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and then transferred to the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, or the Georgia Institute of Technology. This study enriches the existing body of transfer literature because it focuses on the successes and pitfalls students encountered in their transition and not solely on academic preparedness and performance. The specific guiding research questions were: 1. What factors contribute to the successful transfer of two-year college students to four-year research universities? 2. In particular, what can be learned for improved practice by examining a two-year college transfer program?