Increasing the rate of student transfers from college to university has become a prior- ity in Ontario in recent years and increasing numbers of Ontario postsecondary students have been transferring. However, little research has examined how the college students perform academically upon arriving at university . Given the emphasis on increasing migration from college to university and supporting student success, as set out in the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and University’s Policy Statement for Ontario’s Credit Transfer System, it is vital that institu- tions understand what outcomes best de ne academic success amongst the population of transfer students, how to best measure those outcomes, how transfer students are faring according to those measures, and how to foster academic success in these students. In this study, the academic performance of students who transferred from a college to Brock University is tracked over four years and compared to non-transfer students. We compare students’ persistence from year to year, their grades and eligibility for academic suspension, the numbers of credits attempted and completed, their rates of graduation, and the types of degrees received.
In this follow-up study, college students who transferred to one Ontario university in 2008–2009 were compared to non-transfer students using several different measures of academic success at university. When compared to non-transfer students, college transfer students earned fewer credits each year, had lower GPAs, and were less able to earn credits from course attempts. The differences were small for students’ first and second years but larger in years three and four. Despite the lower GPA, college transfer students were not more likely than non-transfer students to be eligible for academic suspension. College transfer students also attempted fewer courses and were much less likely to persist to Year 4. By spring 2012 (after four years of university), the college transfer students were more likely than non-transfer students to have graduated, but their degree of choice was a 15-credit three-year degree (as opposed to a 20-credit four-year honours or non-honours degree).
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