Asee peer logo

Engineering Transfer Students: Characteristics, Experiences, and Student Outcomes

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Two Year-to-Four Year Transfer Topics Part I

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.606.1 - 22.606.24



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Frankie Santos Laanan Iowa State University

visit author page

Frankie Santos Laanan is an associate professor in the department of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University. He is director of the Office of Community College Research and Policy. His research focuses on college access, college impact, minority students’ pathway to STEM degrees, and the impact of community colleges on society and individuals. He is PI and co-PI on three NSF grants focused on increasing women and minorities in STEM fields.

visit author page


Dimitra Lynette Jackson Iowa State University

visit author page

Dr. Jackson is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Office of Community College Research and Policy (OCCRP). She received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2003. She obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Iowa State University in 2005. In 2010, Dr. Jackson obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Jackson has worked as a Program Specialist in Multicultural Student Affairs at Iowa State University, as a Family Interaction Specialist at the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research (ISBR) at Iowa State University and has been working in OCCRP for the past 4 years. She currently works on National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects such as Path2STEM degree and the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project as well as additional projects that focus on the experiences of community college students and community college transfer student success. Dr. Jackson's dissertation is entitled "Transfer students in STEM majors: Gender differences in the socialization factors that influence academic and social adjustment." She is passionate about students, more specifically community college transfer students and women pursuing advanced degrees in STEM areas.

visit author page


Diane T. Rover Iowa State University

visit author page

Diane T. Rover received the B.S. degree in computer science in 1984, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering in 1986 and 1989, respectively, from Iowa State University. Dr. Rover has been a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State since 2001. She recently served as Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in the College of Engineering from 2004 - 2010. Prior to that, she served as associate chair for undergraduate education in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2003 - 2004. She began her academic career at Michigan State University, where, from 1991 - 2001, she held the positions of assistant professor and associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 1997 to 2000, she served as director of the undergraduate program in computer engineering at MSU. She also served as interim department chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2000 to 2001. She was a research staff member in the Scalable Computing Laboratory at the Ames Laboratory under a U.S-DOE Postdoctoral Fellowship from 1989 to 1991. Her teaching and research has focused on the areas of embedded computer systems, reconfigurable hardware, integrated program development and performance environments for parallel and distributed systems, visualization, performance monitoring and evaluation, and engineering education. She currently serves as principal investigator for NSF STEP and S-STEM grants in the college.

Dr. Rover is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Education Society, and the ASEE. She currently serves as an officer of the ASEE ECE Division. From 2006 - 2009, she served on the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities (CEAA), and in 2009, was appointed to the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. Since 2002, she has been an IEEE ABET/EAC Program Evaluator in computer engineering. She served as Senior Associate Editor for the Academic Bookshelf for the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education from 2000 - 2008. She received an NSF CAREER Award in 1996.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Engineering Transfer Students: Characteristics, Experiences, and Student Outcomes AbstractResearch of students who transfer from community colleges into engineering majors is limited.The National Science Foundation funds millions of dollars to community colleges to build inter-institutional linkages to create seamless transition for women and minorities to pursue STEMmajors.The purpose of this mix-method study is to understand students’ community college academicpreparation and their subsequent academic experiences as transfer students in engineering majorsat a research university in the Midwest. Using data collected from the Transfer Students’Questionnaire (TSQ), this study links survey data to students’ academic transcripts from theOffice of the Registrar. The TSQ instrument measures student demographic characteristics,community college experiences, and four-year experiences. The community college variablesinclude engagement with coursework, faculty interaction, and skill development. The four-yearcomponent measures academic and social engagement, adjustment issues, and level ofsatisfaction. Data from over 150 transfer students comprise the target population.In addition to the quantitative data, a qualitative component will provide in-depth and richdescriptions of student experiences. Specifically, this component of the analysis will illuminatethe experiences of students of how they describe the role of community colleges in preparingthem for the academic rigor and transfer into an engineering major. Findings will also addresshow students describe the factors that facilitate their success as engineering students.The goal of the study is to contribute to the research literature about the relationship betweenstudents’ community college academic preparation and their subsequent experiences at the four-year university. The authors discuss implications for practice, policy and research.

Laanan, F. S., & Jackson, D. L., & Rover, D. T. (2011, June), Engineering Transfer Students: Characteristics, Experiences, and Student Outcomes Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17887

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015