Date of Conferral







Mitchell Hicks


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) receive the highest proportion of transfer students (TS) who encounter unique challenges to academic/social integration such as difficult socioeconomic backgrounds, insufficient support of their families, and limited access to student counseling and career guidance services on campus. The purpose of this study was to improve the understanding of the effects of these challenges on TS. Using the Survey of Native and Transfer Students Integration, the study collected quantitative data on measures of TS academic/social integration and qualitative data on TS personal experiences (n = 150). The results of correlation analyses suggest that (1) academic/social integration is positively correlated with institutional commitment regardless of student's status, but native students exhibit a higher degree of correlation; (2) TS have significantly higher GPAs than native students; (c) no statistically significant differences were found in academic/social integration between native and TS. The results of qualitative content analyses indicate that support by faculty/staff is the most beneficial factor in TS integration. Overall, the results demonstrate that academic/social integration has a positive effect on TS institutional commitments but contradict past findings that TS perform worse academically. The findings have implications for social change. At the individual level, the results will inform student advisors about TS unique challenges, which will benefit TS directly by improving academic/social integration process at HBCUs. At the organizational level, the results will help HBCUs to optimize educational policies, which will increase efficiency in students' academic goals attainment. At the societal level, the results will facilitate increases in graduation rates of TS at HBCUs, which will directly benefit their families and communities.