Exploring the role of growth mindset in the transfer experiences of community college students

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between growth mindset and the transfer experiences of community college students in a large urban public setting. Through qualitative methods of interviews, document review, and researcher notes, this study explored the usefulness of noncognitive skills, such as self-efficacy and growth mindset, in promoting student success in the transfer process. The growth mindset principle of intelligent practice, defined as effort, plus good strategies, and seeking help from others, was used to frame the interview protocol. This study examined to what extent students utilized growth mindset principles in their transfer process. The goal of this study is to explore how growth mindset can be used to help promote greater student success for students that are interested in transferring to a four-year institution. The results of the study show that growth mindset concepts do influence the transfer experience, especially in regard to a student's interest in seeking feedback, getting help from others, and responding to challenges. However, increased stress was also observed. Principles of growth mindset supported students both in the transfer process and beyond, including the necessary grades and preparations leading to transfer and dealing with transfer shock.