Major and Classification
Veronica Terriquez, Ph.D., Department of Sociology
Research Gateway Project
“The Role of The Counselor: Predictors of Transferring from California Community Colleges to 4-year Institutions”
The expansion of California community colleges in the past century has increased access and participation in American higher education, especially among students with limited opportunities due to financial and academic challenges, or ethnic groups typically underrepresented in higher education. However, increased access and participation has not translated into success in terms of transfer, certificate, or degree completion rates. The counselor is critical to the transfer process by informing students on classes and a variety of resources on campus. Much of the current literature on academic and transfer counseling services has examined 4-year institutions and not community colleges. This research fills the gaps by explaining how students use these services, and whether or not counselors helped to mediate the transfer process. Using a mixed methods approach, this research analyzes data from the California Young Adult Study (CYAS, n=982) to identify predictors of transferring and uses interview findings to explain the social mechanisms of those factors. Since Latinas/os proved to be a particularly disadvantaged group in the CYAS data, interviews are focused on lived experiences of Latina/o transfer students. Findings indicate that a shift in institutional practice is insufficient for addressing how students’ use of counseling services is mitigated by their socioeconomic background.