Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Mona Y. Davenport


Many four-year public institutions are experiencing increasing enrollment of students transferring from community colleges. For this qualitative assessment, six underrepresented students who transferred from a two-year community college to a four-year public institution were interviewed to examine both support and risk factors that underrepresented students experienced during and after the transition process. Findings showed that underrepresented students' common influential factors were finances, location, family/parental support, motivation and preparedness. The data revealed that underrepresented students experienced support from family, friends, TRIO, faculty and counselors while transitioning from community college. Risk factors that were revealed for underrepresented students at community college and their universities were paperwork, course work/credit hours, culture shock and organizational involvement. The study concluded that faculty/staff mentorship programs and providing students with one-on-one personal interactions both at the community college and four-year public institution are needed for underrepresented transfer students to succeed navigating the higher education system.