Opportunity for all? The differential impacts of North Carolina’s revised comprehensive articulation agreement by race/ethnicity





community college, transfer, articulation agreement, historically underserved students, critical policy analysis


Transfer articulation agreements are employed by institutions of higher education and state legislatures alike to improve transfer efficiency between two-year and four-year institutions. These agreements often aim both to increase transfer rates and baccalaureate degree completion and to decrease time to degree. Studies exploring the efficacy of articulation agreements find that, despite being successful at decreasing the number of excess credits students earned at graduation and at increasing baccalaureate degree completion, these policies often increase time to degree. While there is considerable research on articulation agreements, few studies have examined the differential impact of these policies on students of Color who, prior literature has shown, experience barriers to realizing their baccalaureate degree aspirations. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the impact of North Carolina’s statewide articulation agreement varied by a student’s racial/ethnic identity when examining two-year post-transfer baccalaureate degree completion, time-to-degree completion, and excess credit accumulation.


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Author Biographies

Rachel E. Worsham, North Carolina State University

Rachel Worsham is a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University. Drawing from her experience as a college adviser, Rachel’s research centers on postsecondary access for low-income, first-generation, and students of Color.

Melissa Whatley, North Carolina State University

Melissa Whatley, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research scholar in the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Her work focuses on issues surrounding access and equity in international education, particularly at community colleges.

Jonathan E. Loss, Catawba Valley Community College

Jonathan Loss is a doctoral candidate in Community College Leadership at North Carolina State University and serves in the role of Dean for the School of Academics and Educational Opportunities at Catawba Valley Community College. Jonathan has been involved in multiple statewide initiatives and projects for the NCCCS and the University of North Carolina (UNC) System including the joint Transfer Advisory Committee (TAC). These service opportunities have led to the development of an affinity for research centered on transfer students between the two systems of higher education in North Carolina.




How to Cite

Worsham, R. E., Whatley, M., & Loss, J. E. (2021). Opportunity for all? The differential impacts of North Carolina’s revised comprehensive articulation agreement by race/ethnicity. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 28. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5385



Policy Implementation as an Instrument to Achieve Educational Equity