Reducing GPA shock for engineering and computer science community college transfer students

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


The need for more engineers in the United States has caused greater attention to be focused on community colleges as an untapped source for more engineering students. Although a community college student may have developed a very solid GPA at their school, when the student transfers to a four-year institution, the GPA starts all over at 0.0. While this phenomenon is disappointing in itself, other factors come to play which may make the transfer student suffer severe "GPA shock". The new transfer student faces many new obstacles and situations that can contribute to a poor academic performance, especially the first semester or year, and a shockingly lower, perhaps a whole grade point lower, GPA than that accumulated at the community college. This paper conducts a literature review on "transfer shock" especially with students from community colleges and then describes an academic scholarship success program workshop solution to reduce this possible GPA shock. A key component of this workshop is the Guaranteed 4.0 Learning System developed by Donna O. Johnson. Along with learning the system, the students learn tips and receive help from other students using the 4.0 System successfully. The GPA transfer shock is measured for the new community college transfer students in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering for the Fall 2010 semester. The transfer shock of the women students is then compared to that of the men and found to be higher. The primary interest of this paper is a comparison of the GPA shock for new engineering and computer science community college transfer students in this academic scholarship program with new transfer students not in the program by comparing their transfer GPA with their first semester four-year institution GPA. The scholarship students had a lower transfer shock of .112 to that of .488 of a grade point for students not in the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
Event118th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Jun 26 2011Jun 29 2011


Other118th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CityVancouver, BC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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