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The Multiple Dimensions of Transfer: Examining the Transfer Function in American Higher Education

Author(s): Jason L. Taylor, Dimpal Jain

Publisher: Community College Review (CCR)

Year: 2017

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Purpose: This article examines the literature on the transfer function in American
higher education, and it reviews three primary dimensions of transfer: (a) the transfer
function and pathways, (b) transfer access and experiences, and (c) state transfer

Argument: This literature review engages core transfer concepts and we
argue that the literature is dominated by the vertical transfer pathway, despite
multiple transfer pathways and definitions. The research also suggests that students’
transfer experiences and outcomes are not equal, institutional cultures and policies
are not designed to support diverse students, and the inadequate transfer structures
and policies need to be reformed to improve transfer outcomes for students of
color, low-income students, and first-generation students. Finally, we argue that the
nature and distribution of state transfer policies is uneven and the impact of state
transfer policies on student outcomes is mixed, so we know little about their efficacy.

Conclusion: We conclude the article with a set of priorities for future transfer
research that address gaps and limitations of the existing literature.

Last Updated: 8/23/21