The UTC Graduate School is pleased to announce that Eva W. Lewis will present Doctoral research titled, Transfer pathways in higher education: Exploring differences between pathway and nonpathway student success after university transfer in one state system on 12/16/2022 at 10:00 a.m. in Zoom Meeting ID: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/96472388178. Everyone is invited to attend.
Learning and Leadership
Chair: Dr. Elizabeth K. Crawford
Years of research in higher education have focused on innovations in curricula and student support services aimed toward improving student retention and success. Despite this, increases in student enrollment and degree completions have not increased. In 2009, the federal American Graduation Initiative began with the goal to achieve 10 million more U.S. citizens with postsecondary credentials by 2020. The state of Tennessee enacted the 2010 Complete College Tennessee Act, resulting in new statewide strategies to achieve goals for credential attainment. One strategy was the guided pathway approach, intended to increase associate and baccalaureate degree completions and reduce the number of credit hours accumulated beyond degree requirements. The purpose of this study was to explore whether Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) enrollment was associated with differences in student success outcomes after transfer to one of the University of Tennessee System (UTS) universities. The primary goals were to determine if differences existed in baccalaureate degree achievement or cumulative credit hours, between TTP transfer, nonTTP transfer, and native student subgroups within the UTS institutions, and whether there were relationships between these pathways and success outcomes. Attribute variables were also analyzed for association with degree completion or the number of accumulated credit hours at the time of graduation. A total of 119,000 UTS students, enrolled over a five-year period, were statistically analyzed for differences using chi-square and ANOVA tests and for associations by conducting logistic and linear regression analyses. Results showed that statistically significant differences in degree completion existed between the native and transfer subgroups, and TTP students were found to be more likely to complete a baccalaureate degree, but effects were weak. TTP subgroup numbers were small (n = 1,291). Conversely, no clear association was found between TTP enrollment and cumulative credit hours. Finally, results showed some attribute variables were significant in predictive success modeling, but associations were weak. The Black, non-Hispanic racial-ethnicity category was found to have statistically significant negative associations with degree completions and cumulative credit hours consistently across all subgroups. The TTP program did not improve the likelihood for completion for these students.