Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger G. Baldwin


Using a collective case study methodology, this policy-oriented research examined how Virginia's state Policy on transfer has been implemented at selected public colleges and universities. A conceptual framework of policy definitions was used to examine how the policy is understood in various contexts and what the policy's effects have been at the campus level.;Based on quantitative transfer data, five community colleges and four state universities were selected for study. The cases captured a wide range of transfer activity and college characteristics with the expectation that different understandings of the policy would produce different effects. How colleges defined the policy and assessed the policy's effectiveness was inferred from campus interviews and the institutions' transfer-related documents.;Results supported previous research findings that transfer activity is closely related to institutional culture and the climate for higher education in the state. Results also demonstrated that policy implementation is an interactive and iterative process that enables policy to support many meanings. Thus, in spite of a uniform sate policy, Virginia's transfer policy is not one, but many.;Further study is needed into how policy is implemented and its effects in states with more prescriptive transfer policies. Research is also needed into the effects of market forces on transfer activity. Finally, this policy study demonstrated that transfer is no longer a linear process of students moving from two- to four-year institutions, suggesting that alternative models of student progression should be explored.



© The Author