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A Study of Engagement Patterns of Lateral and Vertical Transfer Students During Their First Semester at a Public Research University

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Transfer students are a growing population for four-year institutions and on many campuses, a majority. While much research on transition practices exists, the focus has been on the two- to four-year transition or vertical transfers, which account for less than half of the transfer students at many four-year institutions, rather than on four- to four-year transition or lateral transfer. This study, using a qualitative research design, compares the pattern of engagement of lateral and vertical transfer students during their first semester at a public research university. The study results indicate that lateral transfer students have as many engagement challenges as vertical transfer students and suggest that previous institutional and personal experiences and expectations are critical variables in providing services for and developing theories about transfer students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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