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ERIC Number: ED556671
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 277
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6177-5
Community College Student Transfer: Understanding Community College Students' Decisions about Transfer in Southeastern Kentucky
Mobelini, Deronda Collier
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Kentucky
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's (CPE) "Stronger by Degrees" 2011-2015 Strategic Agenda points to additional causes for concern in the slower than projected increase in the rate of transfer from KCTCS colleges to four-year institutions (CPE, 2010). Therefore, it is important for KCTCS to develop a better understanding of those factors influencing students' decisions about their transfer process as they move through various transition points along their academic pathway. This qualitative dissertation consists of three primary parts: (1) a technical report written by a three-person research team representing a synthesis of the collaborative research findings pointing to the value students assign to a sense of belonging, family/place, and education as key factors impacting students' decisions about college; (2) an individual research study designed to develop a better understanding of those factors influencing rural community college students' decisions about transfer; and (3) an individual essay that serves as a personal reflection on the advantages and disadvantages of conducting research in one's own backyard in addition to the dissertation team approach brought to the research process and related implications for practice. This study provides greater focus on developing a better understanding of the decision-making processes of traditional-age students living in rural, eastern Kentucky as they progress toward acquiring a bachelor's degree using Hazard Community and Technical College as a stepping stone. Seeking a student-centered perspective, small group and individual student interviews were conducted April to June 2011. Findings were analyzed using Nancy Schlossberg's Transition Theory, Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of "capital" and "habitus," and student development theories. The findings indicate that for this one rural community college, second year community college students' decisions about transfer are most significantly influenced by: a) what students know and understand about the value of education; b) their use of various resources and the resulting sense of control students experience as a result of having a strategy in place; and, c) students' emotional ties to family and place, and their related feelings of control over the upcoming transfer transition. Finally this study suggests potential practices for rural community colleges seeking to support student transfer. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky