Suarez, A. L. (2003). Forward transfer: Strengthening the educational pipeline for Latino community college students. Community College Journal of Research &Practice, 27(2), 95-117.

The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify those factors that contribute to the forward transfer of Latino community college students. This purpose was accomplished by using qualitative methods to better understand what factors students, counselors, and administrators believed contributed favorably to the forward transfer of Latino students from a public community college to a comprehensive, four-year public institution in California. Ten students, six administrators, and two counselors were interviewed for this study. The student stakeholder group varied by academic major, gender, and age, with those interviewed ranging in age from 25 to 57. The results of this study identified several factors that influence the forward transfer of Latino community college students. The factors were organized in three major categories: individual, institutional, and environmental. The individual factors that stakeholders identified as influencing the forward transfer of Latino students from the community college to the university included personal drive, rigorous academic preparation, and educational/career goals. Institutional factors included validation by staff and faculty, the active presence of role models, institutional flexibility, a view of transfer as a shared responsibility, and active minority student support programs. Environmental factors identified included the availability of and assistance with financial aid, the geographic proximity of the transfer university, and the existence of a strong support system. The conclusions that can be drawn from these findings are that students’ personal experiences often serve as catalysts in their pursuit of the bachelor’s degree; a successful transfer program requires a strong institutional commitment to the transfer mission; transfer is far more successful when administrators, faculty, and counselors view it as a shared responsibility; and the utility of minority support programs and transfer activities is minimal.

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