Experiences of Oregon community college not-intended-for-transfer degree students and their transitions to baccalaureate completion Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cn69m761t

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  • The purpose of this study was to describe the transitions, support, and current activities of students who completed baccalaureate degrees after completing community college non-transfer degrees. The population was limited to students who earned an associate degree of Applied Science, Science, or General Studies from Oregon community colleges, and who completed a baccalaureate degree from Portland State University. A telephone questionnaire was used to collect descriptive data and anecdotal information. At the time of community college entry, only 15% of participants identified "transfer" as their reason for attendance, yet each participant in this study did go on to transfer and complete a baccalaureate degree. Half began their community college enrollment after age 22 and excluding previous post-secondary education experience took 6-10 years to complete their baccalaureate degree. At the time of this study, a surprising 33% were enrolled in graduate study. Examining the transitions in retrospect from baccalaureate degree completion, the participants relied upon faculty, family, and employment networks to complement their personal goal-strength. In addition, participants identified an initial reliance on student services for information, especially in maximizing credits used in transfer. However, more than half of the participants identified inconsistent information from services and therefore used their support network of faculty, family, and employment members to obtain information relating to academic success, transfer requirements, and degree completion. The study concluded that no educational program is necessarily terminal, that community colleges cannot configure programs that meet all learner needs, and that the availability and quality of information are catalysts for student goal-achievement. The principle implication of this research is that readily accessible and reliable information of the baccalaureate degree structure is essential to students in community college non-transfer associate degrees programs.
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