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ERIC Number: ED543251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 60
Abstractor: ERIC
Sealing the Gaps: Supporting Low-Income, First-Generation Students at Four-Year Institutions in Texas Post-Transfer
Miller, Abby; Erisman, Wendy
Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education
The objectives of this research were to identify: 1) promising institutional practices for retaining and graduating low-income, first-generation community college transfer students at four-year institutions, including any transfer-specific support systems; 2) outcomes of transfer students (i.e., graduation rates) at four-year institutions in comparison with "native" peers who began their postsecondary education at the four-year institution; and 3) specific academic, personal or financial challenges faced by community college transfer students that impede greater success. This research builds on The Pell Institute's recent study which documented promising practices at six community colleges in Texas that performed "better than expected" in transferring low-income college students to four-year institutions, based on institutional characteristics such as percentage of low-socioeconomic status (SES) students. Institutionalized academic and social support systems as well as effective articulation agreements with local four-year institutions were the keys to the success of the college-transfer cultures at these Texas community colleges. However, while the two-year campuses the authors visited were successful at achieving the transfer mission to four-year institutions, the authors felt that success did not end there. Rather, success culminates when a student completes his or her end-goal, which in most cases is a bachelor's degree. This examination of community college transfer student support, experiences, and outcomes at four-year institutions in Texas aims to inform: 1) practitioners in programs and on campuses who work with community college transfer students, particularly with historically underrepresented populations; 2) institutional decision-makers who are concerned with improving their performance in terms of transfer graduation rates; and 3) policymakers, particularly at the state level, who are interested in promoting transfer as a means for improving the baccalaureate degree attainment rate among their residents in order to ensure a more educated workforce. Ultimately, the authors' goal is that low-income and first-generation students benefit from this research by getting the support they need to ensure success through bachelor's degree completion. Appended are: (1) Case Study Institutional Characteristics; and (2) References. (Contains 20 figures, 2 tables and 5 footnotes.) [This report was written with Adolfo Bermeo and Chandra Taylor Smith.]
Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. 1025 Vermont Avenue NW Suite 1020, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-638-2887; Fax: 202-638-3808; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: TG (Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation)
Authoring Institution: Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education
Identifiers - Location: Texas