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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Delores McNair

First Committee Member

Norena Norton Badway

Second Committee Member

Jerry Somerville

Third Committee Member

Matthew Wetstein


This study compares the demographic characteristics, academic experiences, and socioeconomic factors of California community college students who transfer to private for-profit four-year institutions with those who transfer to public or non-profit higher education institutions. Using logistic regression analysis, this study showed that academic experiences have the greatest influence on the decision to enroll at a for-profit institution. Controlling for academic experiences and socioeconomic factors, transfer students who are African American, female, and over the age of 25 are the most likely to enroll at for-profit institutions. Students receiving financial aid at community colleges also have a higher probability of choosing for-profits as their transfer destination.

Using data from the largest and most diverse community college system in the world, the results of this study determined that community college students who transfer to for-profit institutions are indeed different from students who follow traditional routes defined as public and non-profit institutions. Transfer to· four-year institutions remains a critical mission of the community colleges, especially in providing opportunities towards a bachelor degree for economically and academically disadvantaged students. Therefore, an understanding of the impact of higher education privatization on transfer choice is critical. The report discusses implications of these study results for community college and higher education administrators and policymakers.



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