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Academic Success and the Transfer of Community College Credits in the Principles of Economics

Paul Grimes (), Jon Rezek and Randall C. Campbell

The American Economist, 2013, vol. 58, issue 1, 27-40

Abstract: A growing number of today's college students attend local 2-year community colleges. Many of these students will ultimately transfer to major universities in pursuit of the traditional Bachelors degree. The question of whether such transfer credits adequately prepare students for future academic endeavors is important for educators interested in preparing successful students and maintaining the quality of their institution. In this paper, we examine whether students who transfer credits earned for the traditional Principles of Economics course sequence achieve the same levels of academic success, measured in terms of GPA, as students taking the sequence at a major state university. The model indicates that community college transfer students perform poorly relative to native students in terms of cumulative GPA. This result is driven by a self-selection process whereby the more academically challenged students are those who choose to transfer credit from 2-year schools. The results of our model are used to develop a grade equivalency measure between the university and 2-year schools. Using this measure we are able to reject the hypothesis that grades are equivalent between 2- and 4-year institutions. Finally, we find that grades in the Principles of Economics sequence are strong predictors of overall academic success.

Keywords: community college; Principles of Economics; transfer students; GPA; grade inflation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1177/056943451305800104

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