Description: The success of transfer students plays a critical role in improving the baccalaureate attainment rates of undergraduates attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas; however, current indicators suggest transfer students have lower persistence and graduation rates relative to students who begin and complete their college education at one university (i.e., non-transfer students). Additionally, the research literature indicates a link between degree completion and engagement; however, transfer students are reported to be less engaged and less likely to persist than their counterparts. This quantitative study compared the engagement experiences of 2-year transfers, 4-year transfers, swirl transfer, and non-transfers by using National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) 2008 data to determine if there are any differences among these groups, and if these differences persist after controlling for individual and institutional covariates. the sample consisted of 2,000 seniors attending 4-year higher education institutions in Texas. the engagement scores of each group were compared using a multivariate analysis (MANOVA). This study found non-transfers were more engaged than each type of transfer student on Student-Faculty Interaction and Supportive Campus Environment factors; moreover, these differences generally persisted after controlling for residence, enrollment status, and institutional control (i.e., public vs. private).The data indicated no difference among the three transfer sub-groups for any of the engagement variables, which suggests their engagement experiences were similar. This research suggests that efforts to increase the participation and success rates of Texans, particularly those described as transfers, may be informed by how students perceive their engagement experiences; consequently, institutions may consider modifying and implementing policies that promote student participation in educationally purposeful activities leading to persistence and graduation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Fernander, Keith A.