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ERIC Number: EJ791296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Wandering and Wondering: Traversing the Uneven Terrain of the Second College Year
Schaller, Molly A.
About Campus, v10 n3 p17-24 Jul-Aug 2005
Institutions across the U.S. have designed and implemented first-year experience programs that have gone a long way toward affecting student success. Retention rates have increased at some institutions as a result of these interventions, and first-year students often get the support they need to negotiate the transition into college. Now many educators are wondering how students fare in the second year of college, what their needs are, and what responsibilities educators have in designing environments to meet those needs. In her effort to make sense of the sophomore year, the author listened to nineteen traditional-age sophomores at a midsize, private Catholic university as they described their second-year experience in focus groups or individual interviews. She discovered that these students existed in or moved through four stages in three aspects of their lives. The four stages are (1) random exploration; (2) focused exploration; (3) tentative choices; and (4)commitment. Although the author asked questions about spirituality, campus involvement, and home life, most of what students wanted to share pertained to three issues: how they viewed themselves, their relationships, and their academic experiences and decisions. Most of the students were in the focused exploration or tentative choices stage of their experience with each of the three issues; some were still in random exploration of an issue or were moving into commitment on one or more of the issues. In this article, the author shares insights on the stages she has found to exist in the sophomore year and describes each of the stages and their implications for the design of learning environments. (Contains 6 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A