The number of students transferring from state colleges to state universities in Florida is significant due to the articulation agreements that are supported by the Board of Governors. These agreements allow students who have completed an associate degree to transfer their credits toward a bachelor's degree at a state university. However, transfer students face numerous barriers including academic, financial, and personal that hinder their success as they transition and start their first year at the state university. A large metropolitan public university in Florida has implemented success coaching, a new model of holistic student support, and advising services to provide targeted guidance and advising for transfer students. Some of these services start while the students are at the state college to facilitate the transfer process and allow them to be successful at the state university. The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives of transfer students to get an insight regarding the obstacles they battle and determine whether these services were effective in helping students overcome challenges. To this end, this study is embedded within Schlossberg's Transition Theory and utilizes a qualitative approach to allow important insights to emerge from the student perspective. The researcher conducted and video recorded in-depth interviews with 11 transfer students in their first year at the state university who have utilized the transfer and advising services provided by the university. The data was then transcribed, reviewed, and coded resulting in several themes relating to the first and second research question. The findings of this study are discussed within the context of the existing literature and the theoretical framework. Implications for higher education institutions as well as recommendations for future research are presented.


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Graduation Date





Cox, Thomas


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Higher Education


CFE0009719; DP0027826





Release Date

August 2023

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)