Community College Student Stories Of Lateral Transfer

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristi Elizabeth Short (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Audrey Dentith

Abstract: As calls for accountability intensify and funding is increasingly tied to institutional performance, community colleges are shifting focus from access to completion. Additional scrutiny on student outcomes has uncovered surprising findings on student mobility, including the prevalence of lateral transfer among community college students. Longitudinal studies of attendance patterns and mobility provide insights into rate, timing, and outcomes of lateral transfer, but they do not address why students transfer or the effects of transfer on their lives. This study examines lateral transfer from the perspective of community college students to inform policy and practice so institutions may better support student learning and success. Drawing on the epistemology of social constructionism and Perna’s (2006) model of student college choice, this narrative inquiry seeks to understand the experiences of community college students who transfer laterally and the impact of lateral transfer on their lives. Using interview data from six participants who transferred laterally to one North Carolina community college, this study proposes interrelated contextual considerations influence students’ college choices and decisions to transfer. The author proposes a model of lateral transfer motivation and recommends reforms related to advising, instruction, financial aid, and funding.

Additional Information

Short, K. (2018). "Community College Student Stories Of Lateral Transfer." Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Lateral transfer, Student mobility, Community colleges, College choice, Narrative inquiry

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