Do Two-Year College Transfers Face Different Challenges Working on the Bachelor's Degree than Students Who Only Attended a Four-Year Institution?

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For the past two years, AGI’s Geoscience Student Exit Survey has been used to collect data investigating successful two-year college transfer students. Geoscience graduates with a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree who spent at least one semester at a two-year college were asked questions about the vehicles for successful transfer to a four-year institution and the major challenges faced while working towards their terminal degree. All recent graduates that take AGI’s Exit Survey have the opportunity to share their major challenge or challenges to obtaining their terminal degree. Responses to these questions have been presented at previous meetings, but not as a comparison between the students who have attended four-year institution and those that transferred to a four-year institution from a two-year college. This presentation will present the comparisons of challenges faced by recent bachelor’s graduates that did and did not attend a two-year college prior to receiving their undergraduate degree.

Challenges faced by recent bachelor’s graduates tend to fall within four main concepts recognized in educational research: organizational culture, capital (including cultural, academic, and transfer), affective/motivational factors, and student engagement. The responses of bachelor’s graduates from 2014 and 2015 were coded within these four categories identifying the major issues within these concepts. Statistical analysis of this data will indicate any significant differences in the challenges that face two-year college transfers compared to those graduates that did not transfer from a two-year college.

  • Carolyn Wilson*
  • Katrien van der Hoeven Kraft
  • Benjamin Wolfe
  • Geological Society of America Annual Meeting 2015