A Quantitative Study of the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act in California and Its Effect on Student Success

The purpose of this study was to identify whether the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act enacted through Senate Bill 1440 had a positive influence on transfer students at a California State University campus. It compared and contrasted the similarities and differences among students admitted to the university as both traditional transfer students and those admitted under the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (SB1440). A traditional transfer student, for the purposes of this study. was defined as any upper division student transferring with a minimum of 60 units who did not earn an associate degree for transfer (ADT). This study closely followed Thomas’ (2012) research on bachelor’s degree completion and the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S). Similar to the ADT in California, the A.A.S. was an alternative transfer pathway into the public university system in Iowa. While the A.A.S. study had the benefit of data from a mature transfer pathway, this was not the case with the California ADT. The effectiveness of the California program has not yet been determined up to this point. The guiding question that drove this study was whether the ADT pathway was a viable method for achieving higher levels of student admissions and, ultimately, degree completion. Two distinct groups of transfer students derived from the data examined included: traditional transfer (non-ADT) and transfers iv with the ADT. The ADT, through quantitative analysis, has shown promise in terms of shortening the time to graduate, increasing graduation means, and narrowing the achievement gaps between student groups.


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