Transfer credit evaluations at New York state colleges: Comparative case studies of process effectiveness

Alexander Paul Ott, Fordham University


For the nearly one third of students who transfer from 1 college to another, transfer credit represents time and money. Unfortunately, many colleges provide degree-specific transfer credit evaluations only after students financially commit to attend the institution. The purpose of this study was to investigate, analyze, and compare early and late transfer credit evaluation processes at 6 private 4-year colleges in New York State. This study was fundamentally a contrast between early, effective processes and late, ineffective processes. It focused on 5 independent variables that can play a role in process effectiveness: bureaucratic structure, technology, personnel, articulation agreements, and policy. It also examined the quality of transfer student service provided by early and late processes as judged by transfer professionals. The main source of data for this qualitative research project was interviews with college transfer professionals at each of the 6 colleges studied. Document analysis and a focus group of transfer professionals allowed the researcher to triangulate the findings. This study found that 4 of the 5 independent variables (bureaucratic structure, technology, personnel, and policy) played some role in process effectiveness, most noticeably when contrasting the earliest and latest colleges in the study. Additionally, the study confirmed that providing the degree-specific transfer credit evaluation early was important in providing high-quality transfer student service. On the basis of this study, colleges that fall into the late category are encouraged to change their transfer credit evaluation processes so that they provide degree-specific evaluations early, before time of deposit.

Subject Area

Community college education|Higher Education Administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Ott, Alexander Paul, "Transfer credit evaluations at New York state colleges: Comparative case studies of process effectiveness" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3505558.