Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Mathews, Jerry

Committee Member

Adams, T. Joe

Committee Member

Wiseman, Marty

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


This study looked at the records of students who transferred 12 or more credit hours from Mississippi community colleges to Mississippi State University between 1999 and 2003. The five cohorts combined provided 5,969 student records to analyze regarding the persistence of these students in achieving the bachelor degree. Assignment to the graduate group or the non-graduate group was determined by graduation status as of four years after transfer to MSU. Background variables (age, gender, race) and academic integration variables (ACT score, GPA, number of hours transferred) were analyzed for both groups. The Chi Square Test for Independence was conducted to determine relationships between gender and graduation status and race and graduation status. Both tests revealed the existence of relationships, but Phi and Craven’s V Coefficient calculations registered negligible to weak associations. The t-test for Independent Measures was conducted on the remaining variables and found that statistically significant differences existed between the mean scores of these variables within the graduate group and the non-graduate group. The only exception was with the background variable of age. From these results, it was concluded that community colleges and universities can continue to predict persistence to degrees based on selected academic integration variables. Such predictability can allow for the development and delivery of academic advising tools and intervention models to strengthen the transfer process.