Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Beth Rous


Transfer students have long played a significant role in the growth and diversity of colleges and universities. Recent research points to a continuous decline in enrollment over the coming decade (Kelderman, Gardner, & Conley, 2019), and as tuition costs continue to increase and enrollment numbers decrease, institutions of higher education have begun turning to transfer students to fill their lecture halls and football stadiums. A key variable in higher education’s transfer recruitment blind spot is a fundamental lack of understanding of the structural and organizational changes needed to both attract and retain these non-traditional students (Tobolowsky & Cox, 2012). For too long, leadership in higher education has operated under the assumption that the ingredients for recruiting and enrolling prospective transfer students are largely consistent with the strategies and practices used in the recruitment of an incoming freshmen class. While these strategies may produce a consistent and reliable yield of transfer students, it falls short of producing the type of wholesale change needed for institutions to leverage transfer students as a tool for growing enrollment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)