Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education



First Advisor

George McLellan

Second Advisor

Cindy Choi

Third Advisor

Phillis George

Relational Format



Institutions of higher learning today rely on tuition dollars to function. During a time when the pool of high school graduates is shrinking, colleges and universities must look to alternative target markets to meet enrollment goals, including those transferring from community college. Community college transfers have unique attributes that contribute to their brand perception of colleges and universities and their overall college choice process. This dissertation suggests a need to study the college decision-making process for community college students and their perception of brand identity, specifically at the University of Mississippi. As the Flagship university in Mississippi, UM has a responsibility to try to reflect the racial make-up of the state in its student body. Since the community college population is more diverse than that at UM, the college has a perfect opportunity to recruit from this market to try to improve the diversity of enrolled students. This paper proposes a mixed methods methodology that examines both qualitative and quantitative data obtained through a survey mechanism and interviews. In the third manuscript, the DiP shifts to leadership principles that would guide this study and also covers the investigator’s personal experience throughout the research and writing process.


Higher Education



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