ERIC Number: EJ701873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 7
Accommodating Student Swirl: When Traditional Students Are No Longer the Tradition
Borden, Victor M. H.
Change, v36 n2 p10 Mar-Apr 2004
The term "student swirl" was coined by Alfredo de los Santos and Irene Wright in 1990, along with the term "double-dipping" (concurrent enrollment at two institutions), to characterize the back-and-forth, multi-institutional attendance pattern common among students attending community colleges. However, traditional "linear-matriculation" image of the college student still influences policy formulation and educational practice at all levels, despite the fact that most 18- to 24-year-olds do not experience a college education in a linear fashion. When many efforts to improve cost effectiveness, expand access, leverage technology, and enhance convenience for students are likely to promote swirl, it is unrealistic for faculty and administrators to continue to ignore its implications for curriculum development and delivery. To better accommodate the phenomenon of swirl, institutions should record it for statistical purposes and take advantage of it to enhance students?educational aspirations. California's ASSIST system, Arizona's Course Applicability System, and Florida's Statewide Course Numbering are examples of a growing number of Web-based systems that allow students to determine how they can obtain a degree through attendance at multiple institutions. College student transfer is one of the most important current issues for state policy, and efforts to accommodate its various forms can lead to regional and national collaborations and conversations that have real benefits for faculty members and their institutions.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Educational Practices, Curriculum Development, Transfer Students, College Faculty, Attendance Patterns, Academic Aspiration, Community Colleges, College Students, Nontraditional Students, Dual Enrollment
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Administrators; Researchers; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; Florida; Indiana