Date of Award

December 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Zarrina Azizova


This study examined the experiences of vertical transfer students currently enrolled at a technical university and the academic and social integration of these students into their new institution. The purposes of this study were two-fold. The first objective was to better understand how community colleges prepare students academically and socially for their eventual transfer. The second objective was to understand the academic and social integration of students entering a technical university. A qualitative case study was conducted to learn more about the experiences of vertical transfer students entering this institution. The data collection method included one-on-one interviews with ten recently enrolled vertical transfer students and five staff who work directly with transfer students. Students were asked to describe their academic and social experiences at their community college, their hopes and concerns regarding transfer, and their academic and social experiences at their new institution. The staff was asked to provide their observations on vertical transfer students, their strengths and areas for improvement, and suggestions for enhancing the experience of incoming transfer students. Three themes emerged regarding this particular population and the entire population of transfer students. First, academic integration was relatively simple for vertical transfer students at their new institution. Second, social integration was significantly more difficult for vertical transfer students. Finally, all participants in this study concluded that there is a general lack of support for this population at the institution. This study concludes with a proposal for creating a Transfer Student Support Services department to serve students at this institution to address these themes within professional practice.