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Why Community College Transfer Students Succeed in 4-Year Colleges: The Filter Hypothesis

Robert Birnbaum
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 63, No. 6 (Feb., 1970), pp. 247-249
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27535979
Page Count: 3
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Why Community College Transfer Students Succeed in 4-Year Colleges: The Filter Hypothesis
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Abstract

This study examines the hypothesis that the community college transfer program acts as a "filter" through which potentially successful baccalaureate candidates with relatively poor high school achievement can pass, rather than as a program which strengthens marginal students through counseling and remediation. If this hypothesis is correct, students at the community college should earn the same grades they would be expected to earn had they originally entered a 4-year institution. Admissions scores and college grades after 3 years were compared for two groups of students (N = 188 each) entering a senior college or a community college of the City University of New York. Analysis of covariance indicated that both groups shared a common regression line, and that differences in the college achievement of both groups were due to differences in their high school admissions scores, thus supporting the hypothesis. The findings support the concept of a universal standard of grading in higher education, and indicate that the community college may serve the function of screening marginal students for upper division work.

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