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Staff and faculty have influential roles in the success of students transferring from associate’s- to bachelor’s-degree programs (vertical transfer students). Our survey compared the reported views on transfer of 607 staff and faculty with transfer responsibilities in associate’s or bachelor’s programs at 19 City University of New York colleges. The findings included: (1) Staff reported feeling more confident in their responsibilities than did faculty. (2) Participants working with associate’s-degree students were more likely to report their colleges had sufficient transfer-service resources. (3) Associate’s-degree faculty were the least likely participant group to respond that the biggest barrier to the transfer process was GPA decline (transfer shock), and the most likely that it was credit transfer, whereas for bachelor’s-degree faculty it was the reverse. These findings can inform policy and practice. For example, faculty may need more support in performing transfer-related duties, as well as support in bridging their differing views across college sectors, so that they can work together towards a common goal of transfer student success and higher education equity.


This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article scheduled to be published in the Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, available at

The dataset and survey for this research are available at and, respectively.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 23, 2024