Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Broadhurst, Chris

Second Advisor

Beabout, Brian

Third Advisor

Bonis, Marc

Fourth Advisor

Leger, Jessica


This study addresses the academic success of upper division, NCAA Division I, student athletes who begin their post-secondary academic career at a two-year institution. It is motivated by two research questions: 1) Are predictors of academic success similar for transfer and non-transfer student athletes? 2) Are predictors of academic success similar for transfer student athletes and transfer non-athlete students? Schlossberg’s (1981) theory of transition aided in conceptually framing these research questions.

Data for this study was gathered from three regionally accredited four-year universities located in southern Louisiana, all housing an NCAA Division I athletic program. Multilevel binomial logistic regression was used to identify variables promoting, or inhibiting, academic success. Academic success, defined as graduation, was the dependent variable. Independent variables were selected based upon the “4’s” of Schlossberg’s theory: Situation, Self, Social Support, and Strategies for Coping.

Results of this research indicate transfer student athletes do not perform academically like their non-transfer, or native, peer athletes. Specifically, transfer students are slightly less likely to graduate than their native student athlete peers. The results further provide that participant sport and gender are the strongest predictors of academic success for transfer student athletes. Further, the number of full-time support staff and coaches also played a strong role in predicting academic success for transfer students. In particular, the more full-time staff members the athlete had access to the more likely the student was to graduate. However, the more coaches the athlete had access to, the less likely the student was to graduate. The results showed no statistically significant difference in completion rates between the student athlete and non-athlete student transfer populations.

The results of this study add to the research by addressing how transfer student athletes move through post-secondary education on a path toward degree completion. The findings from this study are important because they can assist those working with transfer student athletes, especially academic advisors, to identify factors that promote academic success and degree completion.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.