Supporting the Academic and Social Integration of Transfer StudentsInstitute for the Study of Transfer Students (ISTS)January 24, 2007Thomas Browntom@tbrownassociates.comwww.tbrownassociates.com
Transfer Success in MissouriTransfer students are the majority of entering students at two urban campuses…it is imperative to study the success of these students. University of Missouri report, 2004
Indicators of Success in WashingtonTwo indicators focus specifically on outcomes for Washington community college students who transfer….Promoting Student Success Through Greater AccountabilityWashington H.E. Coordinating Board April 2005
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU)Board policies for student success include transfer and graduation. Definitions of success include students who transfer….MNSCU Student Success Measures Project May 16, 2007
Student Success in ConnecticutSuccessful transfer is one measure of success…Student Success in Connecticut Colleges September 2007
In California… Student success should be measured through outcomes, including: Time to degree Graduation rates Four year degrees conferred on transfer students.How Are California Public Colleges Doing? July 2007
Today’s Session… • Who are transfer students? Why do students transfer? • What are their strengths? • What challenges do transfer students encounter as they move in, move through and move on from higher education? • What individual and institutional initiatives can enhance their learning, development, and persistence?
Obstacles to successful transfer Negative attitudes and low expectations Lack of adequate information about the social and academic climate of the new institution Course transferability issues Problems with registration, orientation, academic advising, housing, etc. Student expectations based on positive prior institutional experiences. “Strategies for Successful Transfer Orientation” Ward-Roof & Cawthorn, 2004
Keys to transfer success Faculty/staff support Personal motivation/self discipline Supportive environment Peer support Courses completed/availability of needed coursesHeidi Kippenham U of North Dakota AACRAO Conference 2007
Keys to transfer success Professional development Many key competencies are developed after educators arrive on campus. Therefore, colleges must assume the responsibility for teaching and developing their own educators to enhance student learning inside and outside the classroom by providing professional development programs.Brown & Ward, 2007
Group introductions Name Institution/Organization Your title/position Your role, responsibilities, relationship to transfer students and issues. What is one successful aspect of your efforts to support transfer students? What challenge, issue, or question do you hope to have addressed today?
Who are transfer students? Institutions must clearly and accurately define their transfer populations when attempting to develop or modify programs and services for transfer students. Kerr, King, & Grites, 2004
They are traditional aged and senior citizens. They are overachievers and underachievers. They are international students; moms with young children; they are students with disabilities; they are displaced homemakers; first generation students and students in recovery needing a nurturing atmosphere…. Bernice Dunn, 2004
Treating everyone the same may be equal treatment, but it may not be equitable treatment.
A Principle: Human beings seek to economize on the energy required to make distinctions.
Multiple issues… Transfer students First-generation Adult and re-entry students Students of color/multicultural/international Student with disabilities Student-athletes Undecided students First-year students (at their new institution….) LGBT Students Underprepared Students Others??
Transfer in US Higher Ed • 1/3 of all students will transfer at least once. • 43% of two-year students will transfer at least once. • 20% of students will attend three or more institutions. Wellman, 2002; Ewell, Schild, & Paulson, 2003
Who are Transfer students?Vertical transfers: 2 to 4 year campuses Horizontal transfers: 2 to 2 year campus 4 to 4 year campus Reverse transfers: 4 year to 2 year Swirling transfers: transferring multiple times to various institutional types
Swirling Taking advantage of the varied educational opportunities and experiences available in the diverse US higher education system.
Who are transfer students on your campus, in your state, system/district, etc.? What do you know? What more do you need to know? Others??
Why do students transfer? Poor institutional fit • New or changed personal, educational, or career goals • Social environment incongruent with students expectations, abilities comfort level, academic performance or skills level. “Advising Students in Transition” Peggy King, 2000
Only 43% of transfers to 4-year institutions are from 2-year institutions. Wellman (2002)
Why do students transfer? Two-year to four-year • Financial considerations • Admissions requirements • Availability of developmental coursework • Geographic proximity King, 2000
Two-year to four-year transfer The two year college is perhaps the most effective democratizing agent in higher education. Knoell & Medsker, 1965 Community colleges make winners out of ordinary people…. Leslie Koltai, 1993
Community colleges are on the front lines of American higher education in providing increased opportunities for students who otherwise would be denied access…. “Advising Multicultural Populations for Achievement and Success.”Tom Brown & Mario Rivas, 1993New Directions for Community Colleges
Two-year to four-year transfer • 45% of all US undergraduates are enrolled in community colleges. • 47% of all students of color enter higher education through two-year colleges. • 52% of community college students are first generation. • 57% of community college students are women. CCSSE 2005
Over the years, research has consistently shown that students, when they transfer, perform as well as student who initially enroll at four-year colleges….
Transfer students tend to be one of the best retention risks in higher education today. These students have one or two years of college experience, are more mature, and often have determined an educational objective…. Michael McCauley, 2000
We must know the characteristics of the successful transfer students at our institutions so we can identify the services needed for other transfer students to succeed. Tartar & Miller, 1995
A challenge…Many community college transfer students struggle against the perception that they cannot succeed at four-year institutions…. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
What misconceptions about transfer students serve as obstacles to their successful academic and social integration?What are some myths about transfer students on your campus?How might these be challenged or changed?
What are some of the strengths of transfer students?How do transfer students contribute to institutional mission, the learning community, peer groups, etc.?
A high percentage of students in two year colleges indicate their plans to transfer; however, too few students achieve their goal.
Why students leave college: Psychological factors Environmental factors Societal factors Institutional factors What about us? What about me?
Institutions are far more likely to attribute attrition to student characteristics than to institutional characteristics.What Works In Student Retention, 2004
We build beautiful campuses, • We hire distinguished faculty, We develop a challenging curriculum… then the “wrong” students show up! Dr. Betty Siegel, President Emerita Kennesaw State University
What happens to students after they enroll frequently has a more powerful impact on whether they persist or leave. Vincent Tinto, 1993
Talking About LeavingStudents with 650+ Math SATs 40% leave engineering 50% leave biological sciences 60% leave mathematicsWhy undergraduates leave the sciencesE. Seymour & N. Hewitt, 1997
Why do students leave college? Incongruence What they encounter is not what they expected….
Why do students leave college? Isolation Inability to connect with significant members of the campus community….
What do students say? They feel anxious about transferring credits. Policies, procedures, and expectations are complex and confusing. They feel lost and experience difficulties getting connected to their new communities. Kippenham, 2007
Ann Lynch’sMoving in, moving through, and moving on provides a conceptual framework for organizing academic advising and other support services. Arthur Chickering, 1994
Model for transfer students Pre-transfer: moving in Transfer: moving through Post-transfer: moving on Gernand, 1992
Pre-transfer issues Raise awareness of transfer issues Locate relevant transfer resources Prepare for transfer, including enhancing positive social, academic, and personal skills. Assess options re: majors, careers, etc. Understand articulation processes Manage personal, social, financial issues Steele & McDonald, 2000
Academic Advising Articulation Task ForceUniversity of Arizona, Arizona State University and community collegesMembers: Faculty, advisors, administrators, and transfer student ombudspersons (TSO)
Effective articulation Offers consistency in the treatment of transfer students. Faculty should have major involvement and responsibility for creating agreements. Transfer students should have equal access to programs at receiving institutions. Simplify, simplify,simplify processes. Should enable students to progress. Not “one size fits all”. Sullivan, Dyer, Franklin 2004
Transfer issues Ensure that beliefs about transfer are based on fact Cooperation between institutions is important. Managing “transfer shock” Steele & McDonald, 2000
Obstacles to successful transfer Transfer students often have a false sense of security viz. their understanding of the higher education environment, and they miss orientation programs they may feel are going to be redundant or unnecessary. Transfer students often have pre-conceived ideas about their new institution. Strategies for Successful Transfer Orientation Ward-Roof & Cawthorn, 2004