ERIC Number: EJ824819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 15
Sophomores in Transition: The Forgotten Year
Tobolowsky, Barbara F.
New Directions for Higher Education, n144 p59-67 Win 2008
Over the past several decades, student transitions have become a primary focus for many higher education staff and faculty. Not surprisingly, these educators have concerned themselves primarily with the transition into college, because high first-year attrition numbers reflect how challenging this transition is for many new students. Attention has also been given to the senior-year transition, because it is the last opportunity institutions have to ensure that students are adequately prepared for the working world or graduate school. Researchers focus on beginning and ending transitions by exploring the needs, behaviors, and expectations of both first-year students and seniors through national and institution-specific surveys such as the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey and the National Survey of Student Engagement and by assessing the outcomes of targeted programs such as first-year and senior seminars. The same research focus has not been given to the sophomore and junior years. There is no national instrument that specifically explores student issues and concerns in the middle years of the collegiate experience. This article focuses on the sophomore-year experience, which in the past few years has moved from the background to the forefront for increasing numbers of researchers and campus practitioners. The author discusses the unique issues related to the sophomore year, shares findings from current research, and concludes with recommendations for those seeking to offer sophomore initiatives or improve those already in existence.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Institutional Research, National Surveys, Learner Engagement, Career Exploration, Teacher Student Relationship, Academic Support Services, Developmental Studies Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A