American Society for Engineering Education, 2016. In 2015 President Obama introduced America's College Promise, a new $80 billion proposal to make two years of community college free for individuals willing to earn the benefit. To maximize results from such a substantial investment, it is important to address and resolve existing challenges related to degree completion and upward transfer for community college students, especially within engineering. In this paper, we provide an overview of preliminary data from our current National Science Foundation study focused on transfer students in Texas that is aiming to better understand the transfer process in engineering so that the transfer student pathway to an engineering bachelor's degree may become better enhanced. Following a mixed methods research approach and using a conceptual framework of transfer student capital to organize the study, we use qualitative data from semi-structured focus groups with students, administrators, faculty, and staff to extend quantitative findings from an engineering transfer student survey that was administered to more than 7,800 engineering transfers students at four 4-year institutions in Texas. This study uniquely combines engineering transfer student survey responses with education outcome data (i.e., student records) to increase understanding of the complete transfer pathway experience. The sample is unique because it is comprised of a disproportionately large percentage of Hispanic students, which is the fastest growing demographic in the country and a subpopulation that engineering is seeking to attract and support. We envision that our research findings on what helps and hinders the transfer process can be used to 1) make improvements and revisions to existing policy, and 2) serve as a guide for states and institutions seeking to adopt new policies that promote upward transfer in engineering.
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