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A tale of two terms: exploring differences between spring and fall transfer students




Orlick, Renée A., author
Kuk, Linda, advisor
Gloeckner, Gene, committee member
Siller, Tom, committee member
Thayer, Paul, committee member

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This study sought to explore what factors contribute to transfer student success and attempted to create a model using logistic regression to help predict likeliness of transfer student success. Using a sample that included all students who transferred to Colorado State University from a regionally accredited US institution between fall 2007 and spring 2010, four main research questions were asked. The study included a focus on timing by comparing spring transfers with fall transfers and also by looking at the timing of the application process. In general, results show that there were very few significant differences between spring and fall transfer students regarding demographic makeup, academic background, and academic preparation. Any statistically significant differences had very small effect sizes. Statistically significant differences in timing factors, however, had effect sizes considered moderate to strong (between .59 and .70). The timing from application, to admission, to confirmation of enrollment was much shorter for spring transfers than for fall transfers. These timing differences had a statistically significant correlation with first, second, and third term GPA, but the effect size was rather weak. Also weak, but statistically significant, was the relationship between continuous enrollment and being "on time" throughout the application process. Of particular note is that timing seemed to impact spring transfer students differently than fall transfer students. Results from the logistic regression model created to help predict likeliness of transfer student success showed that even when a variety of factors were taken into account, prediction of transfer student success was inadequate. This suggests that there are additional factors at play than those which can be measured before a transfer student begins his or her study at the transfer institution. The discussion section teases apart some of the findings from this study and offers suggestion for further research.


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transfer students
logistic regression


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