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Do credit-based transfer programs have an impact on intellectual development from secondary education to postsecondary education?

James J Uhlenkamp, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This descriptive, retrospective quantitative study identified the influence that credit-based transfer programs have on the intellectual development positions of college matriculates at a private, residential, church-affiliated master's degree granting university in the Midwest. This determination presents a better success measure for credit-based transfer programs than the measures used in previous studies: academic momentum, persistence rate, college grade point average, and degree attainment. People transitioning through intellectual development positions gain critical thinking skills and adopt more of the habits of mind and of working that characterize a well-educated person. An evaluation database developed for the target university's first-year experience program provided demographic and academic information and scores intended to identify the students' dominant intellectual development position. William Perry's scheme of intellectual and ethical development provided the framework and William Moore's Learning Environment Preferences (LEP) provided scores. Participants were assigned to one of four cohorts based on enrollment in a credit-based transfer program: advanced placement, joint enrollment, both advanced placement and joint enrollment, and regular high school program. One-way ANOVAs determined the existence and direction of differences in mean LEP scores between the cohorts and between the mean LEP scores earned by students enrolled in humanities and STEM credit-based transfer classes. Pearson correlations determined the significance of the frequency of program access on LEP scores and the relationship of demographic and academic success factors to LEP scores. An independent-samples t-test investigated the relationship of program access and placement into developmental classes. Exposure to these programs correlated with more complex intellectual development positions only when students enrolled in both advanced placement and joint enrollment programs. Frequency of exposure did not correlate with more complex positions. Classes in the humanities and STEM yielded similar scores. A significant negative effect was found between program access and enrollment in developmental programs. Of the demographic and academic success factors, only participation in the fine arts and student government in college was correlated with more complex intellectual development positions.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Education Policy

Recommended Citation

Uhlenkamp, James J, "Do credit-based transfer programs have an impact on intellectual development from secondary education to postsecondary education?" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3546639.