Perceptions of rural community college students of the transfer process to a four-year institution: an exploratory study
Utilizing the current literature base on rural community colleges, transfer student adjustment, academic advising and articulation issues, the purpose of this research study was to ascertain the adjustment issues and experiences of rural community college students who have the intent to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate degree granting institution. The perceptions these rural community college students have regarding the transfer process are the focus of the study. Students from ten rural community colleges, who participated in the Alabama College Transfer Advising Corps, a project of The University of Alabama and funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation were used in the study. The survey instrument used in this study is a variation of Laanan Transfer Student Questionnaire (L-TSQ). Survey questions were reframed such that those regarding university experiences and the students' potential transfer to a four-year college/university were treated as reflections on the meditational transition, or transition that has not yet occurred. The study addressed the experiences of community college students, and offers policy recommendations and identifies practical ways that both two-year and four-year institutions can further support the rural community college student who has the goal of a four-year baccalaureate degree. Basic descriptive statistics were used to answer the central research question and eight sub-research questions. Findings, conclusions, and recommendations for policy, practice, and future study are presented.