Virginia Community Colleges Transfers to Old Dominion University

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Virginia Community Colleges Transfers to Old Dominion University ...

    Virginia Community Colleges Transfers to Old Dominion University:

    Academic Performance, Retention, and Graduation1[1]

    Zhao Yang, Ph.D

    Martha Smith Sharpe, Ed.D

    University Planning and Institutional Research

    Old Dominion University

    March 2002

    Executive Summary The current study focuses on students transferring from Virginia Community

    College (VCCS) constituent institutions to Old Dominion University. This report

    reveals academic performance, retention, and graduation statistics for all VCCS

    transfers and transfers by VCCS institution. Analyses are prepared by campus

    of enrollment (main campus versus TELETECHNET), academic college of

    enrollment, year of entry to Old Dominion, discipline and degree at the VCCS

    institution, and by VCCS degree type (transfer degree, technical/vocational

    degree, or no VCCS degree). In general, students transferring to Old Dominion

    with a transfer degree have higher retention and graduation rates, followed by

    those with no VCCS degree. Those transferring with a technical/vocational

    degree have the lowest retention and graduation rates. This report document

    (without linked tables) can be obtained at the following links:

     VCCS Transfers to Old Dominion University - MS Word version

     VCCS Transfers to Old Dominion University - PDF version - Adobe Acrobat

     May 24, 2002 Presentation to VCCS Presidents

    Links to MS Word and PDF versions of detailed tables referenced can be found below.

    Prior Research on Transfer Student Performance For more than 10 years, information regarding transfer performance has been

    reported to the Virginia Community College System’s (VCCS’s) constituent

    institutions as part of the State Council of Higher Education’s (SCHEV’s)

    mandated assessment reporting (known as Guideline 8). However, the particular

    definitions and design of the Guideline 8 reporting limited the population to only

    degree-seeking transfers during the fall semester only. Because of these

1[1] This study was conducted in cooperation with the Virginia Community

    College System’s Office of Academic Services and Research. Garry Taylor of

    the VCCS Staff provided data on Old Dominion University students earning

    associates degrees.

limitations, a different, more comprehensive study of VCCS transfers to Old

    Dominion University needed to be undertaken.

    Purpose of the Present Study Throughout its history as a four-year institution, Old Dominion University has

    served many students transferring from the VCCS. In 1994, the University began

    its TELETECHNET distance-learning program that transmits real-time classes at

    the junior and senior levels to VCCS campuses throughout the Commonwealth.

    As a result, there was an increase in the number of transfer students from these

    colleges, making the need to track student success even more important. In addition to including all students regardless of their degree/non-degree status

    at the time of transfer, the current study tracked whether or not transfer students

    had an associate’s degree by the discipline and type of degree. This aspect of

    the study was greatly facilitated by the assistance of staff in the Office of

    Academic Services and Research at the central VCCS Office who provided

    specific degree information to Old Dominion University. This information proved

    invaluable in understanding predictors of success at Old Dominion. This report is divided into five sections: Purpose of the Present Study, Methodology, Results, and Conclusions and Recommendations. The present study seeks to quantify and describe transfer activity, academic

    performance, and bachelor’s degree completion according to the following

    groupings listed below. These groupings are defined in Appendix A.

    1) Virginia Community College institution and across all institutions

    2) Type of VCCS Degree (AA/AS/AAS)

    3) Main Campus versus TELETECHNET Students

    4) Academic College Enrolled at Old Dominion

    5) By First Year of Enrollment at Old Dominion

    6) Discipline of VCCS Associate’s Degree

    The key measures of student performance are defined in Appendix A. These include:

    1) Average number of hours transferred from primary VCCS institution

    2) Average number of hours transferred overall

    3) Number and percentage of transfers earning an Old Dominion

    bachelor’s degree

     Average years to taken to graduate with bachelor’s degree 4)

    5) Average first semester grade point average at Old Dominion

    6) Average rate of academic difficulty (<2.00 GPA) at Old Dominion first


    7) Average first semester hours earned

    8) Average cumulative GPA in final semester of attendance at Old


    9) Retention Rate After One Year

    10) Average Total Old Dominion Hours Earned

    11) Average Total Number of Semesters Registered

    Methodology The primary source of data for this study was the transcript information stored in

    the academic history portion of the University’s Banner student information

    system. Transfer course data, including college of transfer and hours transferred,

    were used to identify the population. Student enrollment at the University,

    academic performance, and degree completion were also tracked using these

    records. Students were included in the cohort whether they entered the

    University in degree or non-degree status.

    The transfer cohort was selected according to the following criteria:

    (1) The student enrolled at Old Dominion University for the first time between

    1990-91 and 2000-01, academic years inclusive, and,

    (2) The student either held an AA/AS/AAS degree from one of 23 VCCS

    institutions or had the most credit hours transferred to Old Dominion from one

    of VCCS institutions (referred to as the “Main VCCS institution”).

    Students with greater than 200 transfer credit hours were excluded because of

    the potential for data input problems; this represented less than one percent of

    the total population. Also, students who started at ODU and later took courses

    at a VCCS institution were eliminated from the analysis. VCCS degree completion was obtained from the records of the VCCS by tracking

    all Old Dominion students who had received an associate’s degree at one of the

    system institutions.

    Definitions for each of the measures of student performance can be found in

    Appendix A.

A total of 14,269 students transferred to Old Dominion University meeting the

    above criteria between 1990-91 and 2000-01.


     VCCS System Wide-Results

     A series of tables were constructed summarizing results at the system-wide level

    according to the key measure of student performance (See definitions in

    Appendix A). Links to detailed tables can be found at Overall Performance: All

    VCCS Institutions Combined.

     Highlights of these tables follow in this section.

Transfer History

    Table 1 displays the total 14,269 students transferring to Old Dominion from

    VCCS institutions by the type of VCCS degree they held. Forty-nine percent

    (49%) of the transferring students did so without completing an associate’s


    Table 1

    All VCCS Transfers by VCCS Degree: Average Hours Transferred to Old


    1990-91 to 2000-01

    Table 1: No. of % of Transfers Avg. Transfer Avg. Transfer Transfer Transfers Hrs Main VCCS Hrs All History Inst. Attended AA/AS Degree 4,694 33 64.0 76.0 AAS Degree 2,627 18 72.0 87.4 No Degree 6,948 49 36.1 42.1 All Transfer 14,269 100 51.9 61.6 For obvious reasons, students entering without a degree transfer substantially

    fewer credit hours from their main and all prior colleges. Interestingly, AAS

    recipients transfer more hours on the average than transfer degree recipients

    (AA/AS). Also, overall students have 10 more transfer hours total than they do

    from their primary institution. This finding illustrates that many transfers to Old

    Dominion actually attend two or more institutions prior to entering the University.

    First-Year Academic Performance

    Table 2

    st Semester GPA, Academic All VCCS Transfers by VCCS Degree: Average 1

    Difficulty, Hours Earned, Retention: 1990-91 to 2000-01

    ststststTable 2: 1 No. of 1 1 Semester 1 Semester Retention Year Transfers Semester Academic Average Hrs Rate After Academic Average Difficulty Rate Earned One Year Performance GPA

    AA/AS 4,694 2.61 21 8.2 81 Degree

    AAS Degree 2,627 2.68 21 6.0 71 No Degree 6,948 2.32 31 9.0 77 All Transfer 14,269 2.48 26 8.2 71 Transfer students with no VCCS degree have a lower first-semester GPA and a

    higher academic difficulty rate than those coming in with a VCCS degree.

    Transfer degree (AA/AS) recipients are retained at the highest rate, followed by

    those with no-degree, then those with the AAS degree. The retention rate for the

    “no degree” transfers is surprising given the higher academic difficulty rate; AAS

    degree students performed better with fewer hours earned, but had a lower

    retention rate.

    Old Dominion Degree Completion

    Table 3

    All VCCS Transfers by VCCS Degree: Number and Percentage Earning

    Bachelor’s Degrees: 1990-91 to 2000-01

    Table 3: ODU Eligible No. of ODU Percent Average Years Degree Transfers Degrees Earning ODU to Graduate Completion Degree AA/AS Degree 3,415 2,297 67 2.9 AAS Degree 1,927 908 47 3.1 No Degree 4,861 2,680 55 3.7 All Transfer 10,203 5,885 57 3.3 In Table 3, above, students were considered eligible to graduate if they had

    attended sufficient time to graduate based on the number of hours transferred

    into ODU. Overall, 57 percent of the eligible VCCS transfer students (n=10,203)

    earned a bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University. Transfer degree

    students earned a degree at the highest rate (67%), distantly followed by those

    with no VCCS degree (55%), and the AAS transfers at 47%. Not surprisingly, the

    transfer degree students completed in fewer years than those with no degree.

    With an average of almost three years to complete a degree, even with no

    required general education, these transfer students are either not attending full-

    time at the University or need to take additional courses to complete the degree

    because of such factors as a change in major after transfer.

Overall Academic Performance

    Table 4

    All VCCS Transfers by VCCS Degree: Average Cumulative GPA, Average

    Total Hours Earned: 1990-91 to 2000-01

    Table 4: Overall No. of Average Average Total Avg Total Academic Transfers Cumulative Earned Hours Semesters Performance GPA Enrolled AA/AS Degree 4,694 2.78 44.5 5.3 AAS Degree 2,627 2.70 34.7 5.0 No Degree 6,948 2.49 63.0 6.6 All Transfer 14,269 2.63 51.4 5.9 In general, those students who transferred without a VCCS degree perform at a

    lower level academically and have to attend the University longer and to earn

    more hours.

    Main Campus versus TELETECHNET Transfer Students

    Table 5

    Main Campus vs. TELETECHNET: Transfer and Outcomes Measures: 1990-

    91 to 2000-01 stTransfer 1 Semester Avg. % Statistics by Academic Transfer Earning ODU Campus Difficulty Hrs All ODU Retention Average

    Rate Attended Degree Rate After Cumulative

    One Year GPA No. of


    Main Campus 10,726 79 27 54.4 60 2.60 TELETECHNET 3,543 71 20 83.5 47 2.69 All Transfers 14,269 77 26 61.6 57 2.63 Overall, VCCS transfers who were associated with a TELETECHNET (TTN)

    campus are less likely to experience academic difficulty and less likely to be

    retained than main campus students.

    Associate’s Degree Area and Student Outcomes Measures

    Table 6

    Associate’s Degree Discipline (Selected): Transfer and Outcomes

    Measures: 1990-91 to 2000-01 stTransfer Statistics No. of Retention 1 Semester Avg. % Avg by VCCS Degree Transfers Rate After Academic Transfer Earning Cumul-Area and Type One Year Difficulty Hrs All ODU ative

    Rate Attended Degree GPA BUS MGMT AA/AS 1,125 83 22 73.0 67 2.70

    EDUCATION AA/AS 433 85 19 67.6 69 2.88 ENGINEERING AA/AS 455 89 21 90.8 83 2.97 INTERDISC STDY

    AA/AS 699 79 21 76.7 66 2.79 LIB ARTS AA/AS 1,799 78 20 75.8 61 2.75 BUS MGMT AAS 411 66 26 81.1 35 2.48 CRIM JUST&PROT

    AAS 278 65 34 76.5 38 2.27 ENGR TECH AAS 888 73 24 87.8 46 2.58 HLTH PROF AAS 913 72 12 95.7 53 3.07 ALL AA/AS 4,694 81 21 76.0 67 2.78 ALL AAS 2,627 71 21 87.4 47 2.79 ALL ASSOCIATES

    DEGREE HOLDERS 7,321 77 21 80.0 59 2.75 NO ASSOCIATES

    DEGREE 6,948 77 31 42.1 55 2.49 Retention Rates by Year of Entry to Old Dominion

    Table 7

    Retention by Year of Entry: 1990-01 to 2000-01


     Rates by VCCS Degree Type 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01

    87 88 78 78 81 81 78 82 82 81 N/A AA/AS Degree

    85 92 66 78 74 69 68 70 70 60 N/A AAS Degree

    75 73 77 78 77 81 77 79 79 78 N/A No Degree

    78 80 76 78 78 78 75 78 78 75 N/A All Transfer

    Students entering with a transfer degree (AA/AS) are consistently more likely to

    be retained during the subsequent year after entry than are those with AAS

    degrees. Retention rates for AAS students have declined over the period of the

    study; however, there has been a gradual increase in the numbers of AAS

    students, largely due to the advent of TELETECHNET; in 1990 there were 83

    AAS transfers by 1996 there were 359. Those transfer students with no degree

    are retained at rates only slightly lower than those with the transfer degree.

    Graduation Rates by Year of Entry to Old Dominion

    Table 8

    Graduation by Year of Entry: 1990-91 to 2000-01


    Rates by VCCS

    19901991199219931994199519961997199819992000Degree Type -91 -92 -93 -94 -95 -96 -97 -98 -99 -00 -01

    79 72 65 63 63 64 61 59 82 100 N/A AA/AS Degree

    71 65 51 55 48 45 40 37 43 100 N/A AAS Degree

    53 55 54 55 48 47 55 71 82 100 N/A No Degree

    60 61 57 57 52 52 53 56 71 100 N/A All Transfer

    966 1,015 1,024 1,032 1,428 1,409 1,461 1,127 626 114 N/A Total Eligible

    Consistent with retention rates, graduation rates are highest for transfer (AA/AS)

    degree holders, followed by those with no degree, then those with the AAS

    degree. A decline in the graduation rate in the years between 1990-91 and

    1996-97 may be associated with the need to extend the graduation criteria

    beyond six years for the transfer population which may, arguably, be more likely

    to be part-time and hence, have a longer expectation for graduation.

    Populations eligible for graduation from 1997-98 on are greatly curtailed because

    many students have not had the opportunity to be enrolled a sufficient time to

    graduate. Hence, graduation rates of the remaining eligible students are likely to

    be inflated for these most recent years.

    Results by VCCS Institution

    Transfer Performance results for each of the VCCS constituent institutions were

    tabulated and displayed in the same format as Tables 1-4, above.

    Specific data for each VCCS Institution can be accessed from the table below.

    Institution / HTML Version MS Word Version PDF Version All VCCS Transfer Students All VCCS.doc All VCCS.pdf Blue Ridge Community College Blue Ridge.doc Blue Ridge.pdf Central Virginia Community College Central Virginia.doc Central

    Virginia.pdf Dabney Lancaster Community College Dabney Lancaster.doc Dabney

    Lancaster.pdf Danville Community College Danville.doc Danville.pdf Eastern Shore Community College Eastern Shore.doc Eastern Shore.pdf Germanna Community College Germanna.doc Germanna.pdf J. Sargeant Reynolds Community JS Reynolds.doc JS Reynolds.pdf College

    John Tyler Community College John Tyler.doc John Tyler.pdf Lord Fairfax Community College Lord Fairfax.doc Lord Fairfax.pdf Mountain Empire Community College Mountain Empire.doc Mountain

    Empire.pdf New River Community College New River.doc New River.pdf Northern Virginia Community College Northern Virginia.doc Northern

    Virginia.pdf Patrick Henry Community College Patrick Henry.doc Patrick Henry.pdf Paul D. Camp Community College PD Camp.doc PD Camp.pdf

    Piedmont Virginia Community College Piedmont Virginia.doc Piedmont

    Virginia.pdf Rappahannock Community College Rappahannock.doc Rappahannock.p

    df Southside Virginia Community College Southside Virginia.doc Southside

    Virginia.pdf Southwest Virginia Community College Southwest Virginia.doc Southwest

    Virginia.pdf Thomas Nelson Community College Thomas Nelson.doc Thomas

    Nelson.pdf Tidewater Community College Tidewater.doc Tidewater.pdf Virginia Highlands Community College Virginia Highlands.doc Virginia

    Highlands.pdf Virginia Western Community College Virginia Western.doc Virginia

    Western.pdf Wytheville Community College Wytheville.doc Wytheville.pdf

     Conclusions and Recommendations

    The results both at the VCCS system level and the individual college level

    provide a wealth of information for VCCS and Old Dominion to measure student

    success upon transfer. Given the ability to track student success using a variety

    of outcomes measures, analysts have the ability to challenge some of the

    assumptions about community college transfers (e.g., as having attended only

    one college), while confirming other assumptions (students with transfer degree

    have a higher graduation rate). Clearly this study should provide the foundation

    for future discussions among the community colleges and four year

    institutions. Efforts will be made to widely disseminate these study results and to

    present them at various professional meetings to facilitate this

    discussion. Annual updates will be made to this study to bring in more recent

    classes of transfer students.

    Appendix A

     Groupings For Analysis Overall Analysis includes all transfers from all VCCS institutions entering Old

    Dominion between fall 1990 and summer 2001. Analysis by VCCS Institution students transferring to Old Dominion were

    identified by the VCCS institutions from which they transferred the greatest

    number of hours. In the VCCS institution reporting sequences, transfers from the

    branch campus of individual VCCS colleges were aggregated to a total number,

    e.g., the Tidewater Community College (TCC) sequence includes all students

    transferring from TCC-Norfolk, TCC-Portsmouth, TCC-Virginia Beach, and TCC-


    Type of VCCS Degree AA and AS degrees are considered “transfer degrees” which are designed to substitute provide the general education portion of a

    University degree. AAS degrees are more technical or vocational in nature;

    students transferring these degrees into the University must meet the lower level

    general education requirements to be eligible to earn an Old Dominion degree.

    Discipline of the Associate’s Degree the academic area of study in which the VCCS graduate earned a degree.

    Campus of Attendance this grouping identifies students according to the Old

    Dominion campus they most recently attended. Prior to the advent of

    TELETECHNET (TTN), most transfer students had to come to main campus in

    Norfolk to attend Old Dominion University. Beginning on a large scale in 1994,

    TTN students began enrolling. Because some students who initially came to

    main campus in the early 1990’s subsequently became TTN students; these

    students are identified as TTN students, based on their most recent campus of


    Academic College Enrolled at Old Dominion upon transfer to Old Dominion, most students identify a major in a particular academic college. For this report,

    the academic college in which they were most recent enrolled is used. The

    Colleges are abbreviated as follows:

    AL = Arts & Letters

    BU = Business and Public Administration

    ED = Education

    EN = Engineering and Technology

    SC = Sciences

    HS = Health Sciences

    00 = No College Declared

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