Theses and Dissertations


Susan Johnson

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to investigate selected variables among community college transfer students with or without associate’s degrees and native students at a 4-year university to determine the impact of the articulation and transfer process on baccalaureate attainment. More specifically, the study examined the differences in demographic characteristics, academic preparation, and graduation rates among 15 community colleges and a rural land-grant university in the state of Mississippi. There were three groups reviewed: (a) community college transfer students with associate’s degrees and their graduation rate at a 4-year university, (b) community college transfer students without associate’s degrees (non-degrees) and their graduation rate at the 4-year university, and (c) native university students and their rate of graduation at the 4-year university. A comparison was made among the three groups to determine if significant differences exist in the demographic characteristics and academic preparation for baccalaureate attainment.This study utilized the causal-comparative research design. There were 5 research questions examined in this study utilizing descriptive statistics, chi-square statistical tests, and a logistic regression analysis for each of the 3 groups of students. The findings were for the demographics and academic preparation across the 3 groups that there was not a significant difference in gender or race. There was a slight tendency for all 3 groups’ programs of study to be in the College of Education, College of Arts & Sciences, or College of Business. The 2 groups of transfer students seemed to be older in age. Articulation among the Mississippi Public Community College System and the rural land-grant university is functioning because the transfer students are graduating at a higher rate. From this study, analysis shows that having an associate’s degree makes no difference in attaining a baccalaureate degree. As expected, the cumulative grade point average (GPA) and cumulative credit hours earned are higher for those who graduate than those who did not graduate among the three groups. The logistic regressions were statistically significant for all three groups with the strongest predictor being the cumulative overall GPA.