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ERIC Number: EJ1121486
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1542-3077
STEMing the Shock: Examining Transfer Shock and Its Impact on STEM Major and Enrollment Persistence
Lakin, Joni M.; Cardenas Elliott, Diane
Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, v28 n2 p9-31 2016
Students who transfer between institutions of higher education often experience "transfer shock", a temporary decrease in academic performance (GPA) hypothesized to be due to changes in academic expectations between institutions. This study used university institutional records to explore the magnitude of transfer shock; the factors contributing to the GPA effects of transfer shock; and the impact of shock and other student characteristics on important academic outcomes, including persistence in a STEM major and baccalaureate degree. We found that STEM majors and students transferring from two-year institutions experienced the largest degree of transfer shock and that shock was a significant predictor of change of major. Most intriguingly, we found interaction effects where shock had a greater impact on institutional retention for two-year transfers and science or mathematics majors. Implications for future research and academic policies and interventions are discussed.
National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. University of South Carolina, 1728 College Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Tel: 803-777-6229; Fax: 803-777-4699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A