Influences on community college transfer student persistence at an urban public university: developing and validating a predictive model using student demographic data and transcript data

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University of Alabama Libraries

In recent years, more students have opted to begin their collegiate career at the community college. Rising tuition rates, coupled with a declining economy in the United States, make the community college's lower cost, convenient location and flexible class schedules even more attractive, if not necessary, for many students (Cohen & Brawer, 2003, 2008). According to Cejda and Kaylor (2001), enrollment numbers at the community college are not just increasing in general, but these institutions are also experiencing an increase in the number of traditional college-aged students (18-24) enrolled, leading to an increase in the number of potential transfer students. However, only an average of 22% of community college students ever make the transfer to a four-year institution, even with interest or intent to transfer averages around 70% (Romano, 2004). The purpose of this study was to identify predictive factors of retention and persistence to graduation for in-state community college transfer students at a four-year public research university through the use of existing institutional student data. Demographic and transcript data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis to develop and validate a predictive model. Results of the analyses found that pre- and post-transfer grade point average (GPA), number of transfer hours, course withdrawals, grades of F at the four-year site institution, age at time of enrollment, academic major, and the number of community colleges attended were predictive within the three models of post-transfer outcomes of graduated at any time, graduated in two years, and graduated in four years.

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Higher education administration