Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Glenn Graham (Committee Member), Suzanne Franco (Committee Chair), Carol Patitu (Committee Member), Joanne Risacher (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The transfer student population is rising on college campuses in the United States. Institutions of higher education should better understand how to support this growing, diverse population. This qualitative study of transfer students investigates what transitional challenges these students face, how they utilize institutional support services to assist them with these challenges, and if they feel appreciated, welcomed, and supported in their new environment. Focus group sessions and a demographic questionnaire were used to obtain data in this study. Participants invited to participate were second term transfer students who began at their current institution during the fall of 2014. Transfer students could not have previously participated in the post-secondary education option (PSEO) or dual enrollment program in high school, and could not be international or permanent resident students. Four participants engaged in the focus groups and were between the ages of 20-32, with three of the participants identifying as female and one as male. All transfer student participants were currently enrolled in an undergraduate program full-time at a mid-size four-year, public university located in the Midwest. Themes that emerged from the sessions included academic advising issues, lack of institutional communication, awareness of support services, and campus culture. Limitations of the study, implications for higher education, suggestions for future research, and recommendations for professionals working in higher education are also addressed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations

Year Degree Awarded