Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Community college transfer, transfer students, California State University system, California Community Colleges, graduation rates


One area of focus by the state of California to answer the educational needs is community college transfer students. Transfer students are students who begin their college career in a California community college, then transfer to a four-year degree granting institution. The state of California views this group of students as a key part of creating more college-educated Californians for the economy of the future (California Legislative Information, 2010). There are two main issues when evaluating community college transfer students. The first is the complexity of the transfer process. Second is the unreliable data that is being used to determine whether a community college student actually transfers to a four-year institution.

The California Legislature enacted the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act..., with the ultimate goal of increasing college graduation rates. This included the creation of the new degree option for community college students, the Associate Degree for Transfer. San Jose State University (SJSU) as a receiving four-year degree granting institution will be the focus of this research, and an examination of SJSU graduation rates will be conducted to determine whether the STAR legislation is meeting its intent.

Does San Jose State University experience a higher graduation rate among transferring community college students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) than among transferring community college students without an ADT?