Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to examine the performance, progress, and degree achievement of Iowa public community college transfer students at the three Iowa state universities and compare these students' performance, progress, and degree achievement to that of transfer students from four-year colleges and students native to the universities. Data for this study were gathered from the permanent record of the individual students at each of the three Iowa state universities;Prior research reviewed was inconclusive in determining if the performance of community college students was equivalent to the performance of students who enroll directly from secondary schools to the university or the performance of students who transfer from other four-year colleges to the university. Some studies indicated that transfer students performed less well, while other studies indicated no difference in the performance of these groups;Comparisons were made among the student groups with regard to performance measured by upper-division grade point average; progress measured by the number of semesters enrolled, the number of upper-division credits earned, and the number of semester credits needed to graduate with a bachelor's degree; and persistence measured by the rate of graduation. After making raw comparisons, students were then grouped by ACT composite score, sex, and and number of credits earned prior to transfer for community college students to determine if the same results were found using different methods of comparison;The results showed that students from each Iowa public community college had similar post-transfer success. Differences in transfer student success were found, however, among the three universities. The results also showed that community college transfers with 60 semester hours earned prior to transfer performed as well as four-year college transfers and better than other community college transfers;When students of similar ACT score were compared, no differences existed in performance and degree achievement between community college transfers with 60 semester hours prior to transfer and native students. It was concluded that different methods of comparison produce different results and grouped or matched comparisons should be used when comparing these student groups.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

William G. Giddings



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File Size

166 pages