Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Education

Major

Education

First Advisor

Janice N. Friedel

Abstract

Researchers have consistently attested that those who earn a college degree experience numerous personal and professional benefits that can greatly influence their lives. Degree completion has been linked to multiple individual benefits including financial benefits, overall health benefits, increased civic engagement, social mobility, and overall job satisfaction (Baum, Ma, & Payea, 2013). In addition to the benefits indicated in the research, degree completion has also become more important than ever as institutions of higher education work to respond to President Barack Obama’s administration completion agenda which set a goal to increase the nation’s degree attainment rate to 60% by 2020 (Kanter, Ochoa, Nassif, & Chong, 2011), and adding at least “…10 million more graduates from community colleges and four year colleges and universities” (Kanter et al., 2011).

The reverse transfer credit agreement has been increasingly looked at as one opportunity to increase degree completion numbers. The new reverse transfer is defined as students who transfer from a two-year college to a four-year institution and retroactively receive an associate’s degree with their newly earned four-year college credits (Friedel & Wilson, 2015). As the implementation of the new reverse transfer program has been revamped in higher education institutions across the U.S., many students have participated and received their associate’s degree through this program. Although students have completed their associate’s degree through the new reverse transfer credit agreement, little research has been completed to explore the influence the receipt of a degree through reverse transfer has had from the perspective of the student.

The purpose of this case study was to explore the perceived influence the receipt of an associate’s degree through the new reverse transfer credit agreement had on a student’s economic status as it relates to position, sense of belonging within a community, and social well-being. After the data obtained were transcribed, coded and analyzed, five thematic findings emerged: (1) all participants of this study indicated every transfer student should opt-in to the new reverse transfer credit agreement as it was perceived as a benefit; (2) all of the participants exhibited key characteristics of persistence and self-sufficiency that informed the participant’s perception within this study; (3) all participants believed earning an associate’s degree through the new reverse transfer program had a beneficial influence on their sense of belonging within a community; (4) all participants stated connections built during their educational experience while pursuing their associate’s degree through the new reverse transfer program had influence on their sense of belonging within the community as well as their social well-being; and (5) the majority of participants indicated that the receipt of an associate’s degree through the new reverse transfer credit agreement had a positive influence on job attainment and speed of promotion.

Copyright Owner

Shawna Saad

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

130 pages

Included in

Education Commons

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