Transfer Student Experiences and Success at Berkeley


The current study focuses on the stigmatization and psychosocial experiences of community college transfer students within the university setting. Two hundred and sixty-three students nearing the completion of their studies at UC Berkeley responded to a series of open-ended questions about their academic, social, and psychological experiences at the university. Results indicate that nearly one-fifth of the respondents concealed the fact that they were transfer students at least once in the past and approximately one-fourth reported experiences of transfer-related rejection. Furthermore, those who reported experiences of rejection were more likely to conceal that they had transferred into the university than those who did not experience such rejection. Despite these reported experiences of concealment and rejection, the overall group of surveyed transfer students in this study proved to be academically successful. The theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed.

Sereeta Alexander
Debbie Ellis
Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton
Publication date: 
March 1, 2009
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
Transfer Student Experiences and Success at Berkeley by Sereeta Alexander, Debbie Ellis, and Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton. CSHE.3.2009 (March 2009)