Transfer students' integration experiences: a study of their initial six weeks at a receiving institution
Historically, institutions of higher education focused their efforts on programs and services to support traditional students' integration (i.e., the eighteen year old who enrolls in college immediately after graduating from high school) into the college environment. Integration into the university environment contributes to student retention. Underrepresented students, specifically community college transfer students, are left out of the retention planning process. With the increase of transfer students transitioning to four-year universities, this study explored transfer students' integration experience within their initial six weeks of attendance at a receiving institution. This action research study implemented an E-Mentoring Program utilizing the social media platform, Facebook. Results from the mixed-methods study provided evidence that classroom connection interwoven with social rapport with peers, cognizance of new environment, and institutional and peer resources matter for integration within the first six weeks at HUC (a pseudonym). The information gained will be used to inform higher education administrators, student affairs practitioners, faculty, and staff as they develop relevant services, programs, and practices that intentionally support transfer students' integration.