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AN EXPLORATION OF HOW PREVIOUS COLLEGIATE EXPERIENCE INFLUENCES THE SOCIAL INTEGRATION EXPERIENCES OF VERTICAL AND LATERAL TRANSFER STUDENTS AT THE TRANSFER INSTITUTION

Utter, Mary (2016) AN EXPLORATION OF HOW PREVIOUS COLLEGIATE EXPERIENCE INFLUENCES THE SOCIAL INTEGRATION EXPERIENCES OF VERTICAL AND LATERAL TRANSFER STUDENTS AT THE TRANSFER INSTITUTION. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

The landscape of higher education is being transformed by the growing and diversifying phenomenon of student transfer (Adelman, 2006; Goldrick-Rab, 2006). As a result, it is increasingly important to understand the differentiated experiences of transfer students and the role that higher education institutions have in facilitating successful transfer experiences. However, most current researchers assume a homogeneous transfer experience which facilitates enhanced understanding of and bias toward the vertical transfer experience while neglecting the various types of transfer experiences.

The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study is to explore the social experiences of vertical and lateral transfer students with particular consideration for how previous collegiate experiences influence the feelings, behaviors and perceptions of transfer students at the receiving institution. The hermeneutic phenomenological methodology allowed the researcher to gain understanding of students’ lived experience and contextualize students’ descriptions and understandings (van Manen, 2014). Thirty eight transfer students, 20 lateral and 18 vertical, were selected to participate using criterion sampling (Patton, 2002); and the researcher gathered data through semi-structured interviews. The researcher coded and interpreted the data using experiential and thematic analysis (van Manen, 2014).

Findings of this study depict four predominant transfer student dispositions among the participants which highlight the various ways students understood and interpreted their transfer experiences. Previous collegiate experiences, including familiarity with two or four-year campuses as well as experiences with commuting to or living on campus, influence students’ expectations of their transfer institution. Furthermore, students’ disposition influenced their decision-making with respect to their housing and social experiences at the transfer institution. All students in this study experienced some misalignment between their expectations and their social experiences. The various ways that students understood these misalignments distinguishes the multiple transfer student experiences beyond the vertical and lateral categorization. The researcher argues the importance of continuing to seek a broader understanding of the transfer student experience which includes the influence of previous collegiate experience, perception and various transfer dispositions. A model is provided that supports this understanding and provides a guide for future research. Considerations for research and suggestions for higher education practitioners conclude the study.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Utter, Maryutter@pitt.eduUTTER
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeAngelo, Lindadeangelo@pitt.eduDEANGELO
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.edu
Committee MemberCohn, Ellen ecohn@pitt.eduECOHN
Committee MemberSutin, Stewartssutin@pitt.edu
Committee MemberRuggiero, Cristinacristina.ruggiero@pitt.edu
Date: 4 May 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 April 2016
Approval Date: 4 May 2016
Submission Date: 3 May 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 192
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lateral Transfer, Vertical Transfer, Transfer Student, Transition, Integration, Social Integration, Student Success, Receiving Institution, Previous Collegiate Experience
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 19:29
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:33
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/27933

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