California Community Colleges (CCC) are integral in ensuring student enrollment, persistence, and subsequent higher education degree attainment. As one of the most affordable institutions of learning, community colleges symbolize access to various degree and certificate completion options, transfer opportunities, vocation and remedial education, as well as workforce training. However, a high percentage of students, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, systematically falls short of the set institutional guidelines and do not complete a degree or transfer within the expected timeframes. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the effective strategies utilized by CCC transfer center directors (TCDs) for supporting underrepresented student transfer efforts. Several dimensions of the transfer process were examined through an equity lens, including institutional and individual factors, as well as policy implications in the established transfer center functions. The interviews conducted with study participants revealed the challenges and opportunities associated with facilitating transfer efforts on-campus and revealed best practices for new practitioners coming into the field. Some of the main themes that emerge, such as lack of awareness regarding available resources, negative self-perception, and financial implications can act as perceived and real barriers in the pursuit of transfer success. Providing holistic support programs and comprehensive services in terms of transfer exploration and preparation can greatly mitigate these roadblocks, especially for underrepresented community college students.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Community colleges--California; Community college students--Transfer; Minority college students

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Farzin Madjidi