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ERIC Number: ED533230
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 229
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-1589-0
"It's the Perfect Baby Step": African American Students' Community College Choice and Transfer to Four-Year Colleges and Universities
Morrice, Pelema Imhotep
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Community colleges offer students an alternate pathway for baccalaureate degree attainment. Statistical data has shown that degree-seeking students can use community colleges to facilitate transfer to four-year institutions. Transfer rates from community colleges to four-year institutions are between 25% and 40%. Community college enrollment is rising and more students are choosing these institutions as their postsecondary entry point. Community colleges are especially popular among African American students. While postsecondary participation is an encouraging sign for African American students, statistics have shown they are more likely to choose community colleges than students from other racial backgrounds. In addition, African American community college students have lower four-year transfer rates than their White peers. Quantitative studies have addressed the college choice and transfer process of community college students. However, gaps are present in the literature: an examination of African American students' college choice processes and the use of qualitative methods. I addressed these gaps in this study. This investigation answered four pertinent questions: Why do baccalaureate degree seeking African American students decide to attend community college, what factors influence which four-year institutions community college students consider transferring to, what role do community colleges play in preparing baccalaureate degree seeking African American students for their transition to four-year institutions, and how do students' community college experiences influence their perceptions of ability to succeed at four-year institutions? African American students revealed that organizational, social and cultural, and individual and psychological variables, influenced their community college choice and four-year transfer processes. Participants discussed that community colleges act as preparatory spaces that allowed students additional time to finalize their post-high school academic and professional plans, and prepare for transfer to four-year institutions. Students also revealed that finances, proximity, family members, and timing and deadlines influenced students' decision to attend community college and their formation of potential four-year transfer destinations. Participants also revealed that their major and career choices influenced their formation of four-year transfer choice sets. Findings also revealed that students' academic performance didn't match their perceived levels of academic self-efficacy. Participants also discussed that enrolling in a community college increased students' perceptions of their ability to succeed at four-year colleges and universities (college self-efficacy). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A