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ERIC Number: ED569501
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 185
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-1934-3
"To Finally Understand How to Do Well Is the Hardest Part": Seeing the Transfer Journey, Research and Research-Inclusive Careers through the Eyes of Undergraduate Transfer Students Pursuing Science Majors
Ewers, Tola Latola Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison
This multi-case qualitative study explored how University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) undergraduate science major transfer students' backgrounds, transfer journey, previous research and/or other academic experiences and future aspirations shaped perceptions and beliefs about research, research-inclusive careers and integration and engagement at UW-Madison. Interviews with 14 UW-Madison students who transferred from a variety of academic institutions, a demographic questionnaire and other artifacts comprised the data from which narratives were created to capture the essence of students' experiences and thoughts on research and research-inclusive careers. Findings contribute to conversations surrounding transfer students majoring in STEM and health science fields by revealing factors described by students as shaping transfer transition, influencing likelihood to engage in activities which enhance their educational journey, persist as a STEM major, receive a baccalaureate degree, pursue post-graduate education and/or have a career which includes a research component. To an extent, results reflect existing literature. For instance, most participants experienced a degree of transfer shock. Their stories also echo research showing that participating in research activities has a plethora of effects on student experience, i.e., promoting development of researcher identity, a stronger sense of self-efficacy and affirming pursuit of graduate study and careers with a research component or a lack of interest in a research career due to perceptions of what that lifestyle entails or its misalignment with their future career pathways (i.e., clinicians who do not see applicability and value of engaging in lab-based research in light of patient-care priorities). Several new themes did emerge: impact of roommate relationships and housing factors on transfer student success (particularly how different academically demanding trajectories in living situations might impact the likelihood of transfer shock); the role transfer capital plays in multiple ways (i.e., recognizing the importance of maximizing transfer credits to meet degree requirements and knowing how to advocate for those credits in the articulation process or understanding how to find and access research opportunities); and the importance of ensuring that high-impact educational activities offered to incoming native students are just as accessible to transfer students, whether they are research learning opportunities or an activity such as a first-year interest group. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin (Madison)