Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Stephanie Barham, Don Good, Daryl Carter


The purpose of this quantitative nonexperimental study was to investigate the success of students who use transfer articulation agreements to transfer from any of the 13 community colleges in Tennessee to one of the state’s public, four-year, locally governed institutions to complete a bachelor's degree. Data were collected from five 4-year public universities across the state of Tennessee. The Tennessee Promise initiative was created to allow students the opportunity to begin postsecondary college careers at little to no cost. When combined with either the Tennessee Transfer Pathways or transfer articulation agreements, the goal was to create a seamless transition from two-year community colleges to four-year universities. Both the Tennessee Transfer Pathway and articulation agreements are designed for students to complete an associate degree prior to transfer; however, many students may not.

The sample for this study consisted of 911 students who had completed at least 1 year or 2 semesters at the community college level prior to transfer or students who completed an associate degree at one of Tennessee’s community colleges. Transfer student population information was retrieved from institutional fact books, while additional transfer student enrollment information was provided by students who completed a 5 item, Likert-type survey. Eleven research questions were answered through data analyzed via independent-samples t-test, Pearson correlations, two-way contingency tables using crosstabs, and one-way analysis of variance.

Statistically significant findings were found in the areas of anticipated need of credits towards bachelor’s degrees, use of articulation agreements, advisement and use of articulation agreements, gender and transfer agreements, and attainment of associate degrees and transfer agreements. Students who earned an associate degree before transferring had an anticipated need for fewer credits to complete a bachelor’s degree than students who did not earn an associate degree prior to transfer. Additionally, students who used university parallel agreements were more likely to seek advisement than students who did not use university parallel agreements. Findings also revealed that while male students were more likely to use transfer agreements than female students, female students are more likely to enroll in 4-year universities and complete a bachelor’s degree after their community college enrollment.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.