ERIC Number: ED357710
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jun-20
Reference Count: N/A
Out-of-Class Experiences Research Program. The Transition to College Project. Final Report.
Terenzini, Patrick T.
This final report describes a study which examined how new college students become aware of and involved in the academic and non-academic "learning communities" of the campus; specifically the report examined the social, academic and administrative mechanisms and processes through which students become involved in academic and social systems; important people who facilitate or impede the transition from high school or work to college; significant experiences affecting the outcome of this transition; and variations between individual students. The research used a cross-sectional, focus-group interview research design. Data were gathered in groups varying in size from one to eight students at four very different types of institution ranging from a relatively new community college to a large, predominantly white, residential, research university. A total of 36 group interviews were held with 132 students. Results suggested that the transition is complex and varies according to several factors: (1) college is an expected step in the life trajectory for many middle class students but not for many non-traditional students; (2) high school friends can be a bridge to full college adjustment or a complicating factor if they are not also attending college; (3) students' families can be a supportive asset or a source of stress as a student's relations with his/her family change; and (4) various types of "validation experiences" were key for all students to feeling deserving of a place in college. Appendixes contain correspondence to participating institutions, a consent form, and interview protocol. Includes 24 references. (JB)
Descriptors: College Freshmen, College Students, Community Colleges, High Schools, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Sex Differences, Social Status, State Universities, Student Adjustment, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student College Relationship, Student Development, Student Experience, Student Participation, Urban Education
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.