From Open Door to Limited Access: Transfer Students and the Challenges of Choosing a Major Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018, Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved. Career choice theory traditionally defines career selection as a choice, not a competition; however, desirable limited-access majors often have selective admission processes. For transfer students who come from open-access community colleges, the competition can be an unanticipated obstacle. In this qualitative study, we found that among transfer students who were denied admission to their desired limited-access major those who had more knowledge about their desired careers were able to reassess and find viable academic pathways when faced with obstacles. Transfer students with very limited career knowledge found it difficult to consider other options. Further, we concluded that institutional admissions and advising practices are critical to facilitating students negotiation of obstacles.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Musoba, G. D., Jones, V. A., & Nicholas, T.

complete list of authors

  • Musoba, Glenda D||Jones, Veronica A||Nicholas, Tekla

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM