Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
At a large public research university in Southern California, community college transfer students reported dissatisfaction with their undergraduate college experience. Dissatisfied students may not graduate, may not network with undergraduates at their alma mater, and may not contribute financially to their alma mater. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore why students were dissatisfied with their college experience. Data collection included semi structured interviews with 11 community college transfer students enrolled at the university. The conceptual framework was based on Astin's student involvement theories. The data were analyzed by looking for codes that emerged from the student interviews. From these codes, 12 categories were condensed in to seven themes. These seven themes were: academic reputation, transfer student issues, misinformation, apprehensions and fears, relationships and support, benefits, and ideas for a better college experience. Findings were used to design a 3-day professional development program for student affairs staff. Goals were to provide staff with a better understanding of the issues community college transfer students faced. Social change implications include student affairs staff advocating for changes in processes, procedures, and programs to benefit transfer students.