Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Garner, Howell C.

Committee Member

Bonfanti, Philip

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In this educational study, the student population at one of the state’s 15 community colleges was the target over a 5-year period (FY 2004-FY2009). Four variables (gender, race, socioeconomic status, and enrollment status were studied to predict if they had any affect on a student’s transfer grade point average. In 4 out of the 5 years in the study, this institution had the highest transfer grade point average as compared to native students at the state’s 8 universities. The purpose of this study was to examine the student population and look at four student variables to see if any were related to transfer grade point average. Over a 5-year period for this study, the number of women who have attended this community college has been 2 to 1. The number of students who receive a Pell Grant through financial aid is high. The ethnicity of the student population has also changed within the 5 years of this study.The first research question examined whether gender or race could predict a student’s transfer grade point average. The second research question explored whether socioeconomic status could predict a student’s transfer grade point average. The third research question asked whether a student’s enrollment status could predict the transfer grade point average. The fourth question examined which of the set of four variables had the most impact, and which one had the least impact. Race and sex were shown to have stronger relationships to transfer GPA. These variables only explain about 9% of grade variance; therefore, there are other factors that explain differences in the transfer GPA. The research concluded with a summary of the findings along with limitations of the study. Recommendations for practitioners and policy makers along with recommendations for future research were to study more variables, use other institutions, and perhaps to do a survey of the student population at community colleges.