Date of Award

8-6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Robert Heasley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Valerie Gunter, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Thomas Nowak, Ph.D.

Abstract

According to Tinto's (1975) model of student attrition, the level of student success is influenced by how well students integrate and perform within the academic system. Many studies focused on community college transfer students have considered portions of Tinto's model from the perspective of the student but not of the faculty. This study focused on one portion of Tinto's model, the academic system and answered the following questions: 1) How do faculty at a four-year, public institution conceptualize the community college transfer students' academic preparedness; 2) to what degree, if any, does that conceptualization differ within the disciplines and 3) is there evidence that these perceptions are based on actual student outcomes in course performance? Using a mixed methodological approach, the study found faculty held specific perceptions about community college transfer students. Some of these perceptions, such as the idea that community college transfer students were not performing at the same level as students who started at the four-year institution, were not completely confirmed through outcomes assessment.

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