ERIC Number: ED315124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jan-20
Reference Count: 0
Student Characteristics Which Facilitate Transfer from 2-Year to 4-Year Colleges.
Lee, Valerie E.; Frank, Kenneth A.
This study was conducted to investigate the relative importance of social and academic factors in influencing the probability of transfer from a community college to a four-year college. The structural model used in the study was composed of the following constructs: the effect of social class, race, and gender on students' academically related behaviors in high school; the combined effect of student background and high school behaviors on high school outcomes; the effects of background, high school behaviors, and high school outcomes on community college behaviors; and the effect of background, high school behaviors, high school outcomes, and community college academic behaviors on the probability of transfer from a two-year to a four-year college. Nationally representative data from the "High School and Beyond" study were used to track a random sample of 2,500 students who attended community college within two years of high school graduation in 1980. Within four years after finishing high school, 24.3% of the community college students had transferred to a four-year college. The students' academic performance in college was the strongest direct predictor of eventual transfer. Family social class and high school factors (e.g., placement in the academic track, application to college while in high school, high grade point average, and high standardized test scores) exerted important indirect effects on the probability of transfer. Race and gender effects on transfer were found to be weaker than in earlier studies. While broader access to two-year institutions may appear to increase educational opportunities for socially and academically disadvantaged students, the fact that it is the more advanced students with better academic preparation in high school who actually transfer to four-year colleges suggests that the community college experience may actually perpetuate rather than ameliorate social stratification in higher education. (WJT)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, College Transfer Students, Community Colleges, Family Characteristics, High School Students, High Schools, Higher Education, National Surveys, Outcomes of Education, Predictor Variables, Social Class, Student Characteristics, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: EXXON Education Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor.