Perceptions and experiences of students who graduate with the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) Degree Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p2676z49p

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  • The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn about the perceptions and experiences of students who graduated with the Associates of Arts/Oregon Transfer (AA/OT) degree. This study answered the following questions: 1) How did the AA/OT degree attainment assist in the overall achievement of goals? 2) How did AA/OT graduates view the transfer process? 3) What factors influenced the transfer process? 4) What was the overall perception of the AA/OT degree? A phenomenological approach was used. Qualitative data were collected through interviews with 18 students who graduated with the AA/OT degree at an urban community college in Oregon. Data analysis occurred through the creation of profiles of the participants and the emergence of themes. As a result of answering the research questions about the experiences of AA/OT graduates, five themes emerged. These included: Theme 1: The AA/OT degree made the transfer process easier and helped students overcome common barriers or obstacles to transfer. Theme 2: AA/OT graduates were frustrated with the academic environment at the community college. Theme 3: AA/OT graduates encountered stigmas associated with community college attendance. Theme 4: Advising and mentoring were crucial to goal attainment. Theme 5: Degree attainment influenced behavior change. This study concluded that articulated degrees can help make the transfer process smoother by freeing students from worrying about how or if their credits will transfer, thus allowing the student more time to concentrate on other aspects of the transfer process. The findings of this study suggest there are advantages to obtaining the Associate degree prior to transfer.
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