Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education/Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Jay R. Dee

Second Advisor

Clenn Gabbard

Third Advisor

Ricardo Fernandez


Hispanic students are underrepresented among bachelor's degree and associate's degree recipients. More than any other ethnic group, Hispanic students tend to be concentrated in the two-year sector of higher education. Therefore, improvements in transfer rates between two-year and four-year institutions could enhance overall degree completion rates for the Hispanic population. This study examined how two-year and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) can develop transfer programs through the use of inter-organizational collaboration.

The overarching question that guided the study was: How do two-year and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions develop interorganizational collaborations that promote transfer? The study also sought to answer the following questions: To what extent do formal structures support interorganizational collaborations? What emergent or formal roles and relationships support interorganizational collaborations? How are differences and conflicts resolved between and among collaborative entities? How are resources and costs shared? What are the institutional expectations for sustaining the collaboration?

Case study was the methodology utilized with field interviews as the main data collection strategy. The population of institutions sampled consisted of institutions that had received a Title V Cooperative Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a transfer initiative. These cooperative grants are usually awarded for a period of five years. Three partnerships between two-year and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions across three states were selected for the study.

Study findings indicated that these HSIs developed interorganizational collaborations promoting transfer through a complex analysis that focused on specific academic programs and fields. Some of the two-year and four-year HSIs in this study had long-standing informal transfer relationships. Some HSIs also had a history of collaboration through previous Title V Grants. Geographic proximity, while offering natural transfer opportunities for partnership, was not sufficient to create and sustain collaboration. Formal structures were critical to the support and success of interorganizational collaboration. The roles of Project Director and Project Coordinator were fundamental in support of collaborations. Faculty also performed critical functions to implement and support collaboration. Conflict and differences were resolved through communication across multiple levels by those who were involved in the collaboration. Resources were not always distributed equitably, with the lead institution often keeping the larger share of resources. The research did not find evidence of expectations to sustain the collaboration beyond the grant period.


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