Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Pike, Gary R.

Committee Member

Keith, Edwin M.

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The purpose of the study was to investigate the rate at which community college transfer students graduate from the 4 year college and what variables can be used to explain the corresponding graduation rates. In addition, the study attempted to answer the identical question regarding the rate at which native students graduate from the 4 year college and the variables that can be used to explain the native student graduate rates. Finally, the study made comparisons between the community college transfer student variables that explained the corresponding graduation rates and the native student variables that explained their corresponding graduation rates to determine if differences existed between the two groups. The data collected on the community college transfer and native students at Mississippi State University was analyzed in a two-group logistical regression. For each group, a logistical regression was built, that included the independent variables of the student demographic characteristics (age, gender, race and academic discipline) and the ability measures/lower-level academic success measures (ACT/SAT test score, high school grade point average and lower level college grade point average). The results from the logistical regression for the transfer and native students were compared. Delta-Ps, the change in predicted probability, were calculated for each independent variable and then compared for transfer and native students. The conclusions of the study were the following native students appear to be better prepared to graduate than community college transfer students, the lower-level grade point average and number of lower-level credit hours earned appear to consistently explain the rates of graduation for both groups, as these two variables were significant for both groups. Transfer and native students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) category appear to be less prepared to graduate or encounter more obstacles to graduate than students in the other academic discipline categories. Running separate logistic models for each academic discipline category was effective in assessing the particular variables that impact graduation for the community college transfer and native students.



transfer student||native student||graduation rates||community college