Case study of persistence by African-American female transfer students from two-year to four-year institutions of higher education



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The purpose of this treatise was presented in three parts; 1) to identify and understand the perceived factors that aid in the persistence of African-American female transfer students, 2) to access how the college environment is perceived to influence their success, and 3) to determine how the factors of intersectionality: race, class, and gender influence the persistence of this student sub group. All obtained information will be used to guide program development and the implementation of services to the chosen site institution. Through the use of qualitative methods and a case study design, this study explored the responses of nine individuals currently affiliated with the chosen four-year institution. Three of the participants in the study were faculty advisors and the remaining six were African-American female students who were also identified as transfer students as well. Semi-structured interview protocols were separately collected from both students and faculty. Findings revealed that four factors were perceived to aid in the persistence of African-American female transfer students. They were: strong support systems that involve both fictive and kinship networks, possessing and developing internal locus of control, the ability to see and be effective role models, and to exhibit strong commitment behaviors for school. Implications are presented with the intent to add to the limited scholarly literature regarding the persistence of African-American female transfer students. Recommendations include the creation of a Transfer Student Taskforce, establishing a charter chapter of Tau Sigma, which is a national Honor Society for Transfer Students, and the creation/implementation of a campus climate survey.