Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Andrew J. Czuchry, Don Good, Pamela Scott


Students who attend community colleges often transfer to 4-year universities seeking to earn a degree typically not offered at the community college level. Tennessee has 2 programs: the Tennessee Promise and the Tennessee Reconnect programs that offer students tuition-free access to the state’s community college system. Previous studies have been conducted to compare transfer students’ performances to that of native students and typically compared the students in all disciplines. This study seeks to compare transfer students (students who enter the participating university with 40 or more credit hours) to native students (students who initially enrolled or transferred into the 4-year participating university with fewer than 40 credit hours) the engineering technology major (ENTC) to determine if transfer students are doing as well as or better than native students.

The present study used archival data from student records from fall 2008 through fall 2017. The data were provided by Institutional Research at the participating university. The dataset included 416 transfer students and 900 native students. Students were classified as transfer or native based on study criteria. They were then divided into subgroups by gender, Pell grant recipient status, first-generation status, 3000 and 4000 level GPA, high-school GPA, ACT composite scores, age, and whether the student graduated or not. The data were analyzed quantitatively seeking to find differences between the native and transfer students’ graduation rates and differences in the subgroups. The 3000 and 4000 level coursework GPA were examined for transfer shock.

There were significant differences between transfer and native students in graduation rates, percent who were first-generation, Pell grant recipient status, and age. Overall, graduation rates for transfer students were 38.8% and 21.8% for native students. The findings indicated that 48.8% of female transfer students persisted to graduation compared to 17.3% of native female students. Male transfer students and male native students graduated at a rate of 43.1% and 22.0%, respectively. There were no significant differences in 3000 and 4000 course level GPA, high-school GPA, or ACT composite scores between the two groups.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.