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The Student Swirl: Transferring to Multiple Institutions

Bahr, P. R. (2009). College hopping: Exploring the occurrence, frequency, and consequences of lateral transfer. Community College Review, 36 (271-298). doi: 10.1177/0091552108330903

In this article, the author explores the frequency of lateral transfers, particularly within the California system. Using some descriptive statistics, the article explores the differences among various groups. The implications of the research seems to indicate the need for accounting for this type of transfer student, although it would be more challenging than accounting for community college transfers. This idea would mostly affect performance accountability reporting.

Bontrager, B., Clemetsen, B., & Watts, T. (2005). Enabling student swirl: A community college/university dual enrollment program. College and University, 80(4), 3-6.

Borden, V. M. H. (2004). Accommodating student swirl: When traditional students are no longer the tradition. Change, 36(2), 10-18.

Li, D. (2010). They need help: Transfer students from four-year to four-year institutions. The Review of Higher Education, 33(2), 207-238.

This article focuses on the transition issues facing lateral transfer students. The author draws attention to the fact that these students typically receive less attention from both the institution they depart from and the one they are transferring to. The study finds that students who transfer, but particularly those who stop-out for time before attending another institution, are less likely to attain their bachelor's. The author also makes some suggestions, including a common numbering system within states and a statewide core curriculum for public institutions. These suggestions would benefit both lateral and vertical transfer students.

Peter, K., and Forrest Cataldi, E. (2005). The Road Less Traveled? Students Who Enroll in Multiple Institutions (NCES 2005-157). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

This is a report from the NCES describing a longitudinal study's results regarding swirling students. The report finds that it is common for undergraduate students to enroll at multiple institutions over the course of their degree. However, the study also indicated that students who do transfer are less likely to complete their degree within six years.

Sturtz, A. J. (2006). The multiple dimensions of student swirl. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 13(2), 151-158.

 

Updated May 2011

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