Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Molina, Danielle K.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 Years

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


Students who transfer from a community college to a university need to learn about their new environment in order to succeed academically at their new institution. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of attending an extended orientation on transfer students’ academic achievement. An extended orientation is a program hosted by the 4-year institution to teach new students about the culture, campus, resources, and opportunities offered. This study compared the academic achievement of transfer students who attended an extended orientation and a similar (based on GPA and number hours transferred) group of transfer students who did not attend an extended orientation. The academic achievement measures included the cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the transfer institution, the cumulative number of hours earned at the transfer institution, and the rate of retention to the following fall semester. This study used a quantitative research design using an independent t-test for GPA and number of hours completed, and a chi-squared test of independence for retention rates. The findings showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the transfer students who attended the extended orientation and those who did not. While the transfer students who attended had slightly higher GPA’s and number of hours completed, the difference was minimal and not significant. Similarly, although the retention rates for transfer students who attended the extended orientation were slightly higher than for those who did not attend, the difference was also minimal and not significant. The goal of the study was to give practitioners who develop and implement similar programs evidence on how to tailor specific programs to meet the needs of transfer students from community colleges to better assist them in their transition to their new institution.