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Improving the Academic and Social Integration of Transfer Students

Presented by:

Kim Buch, University of North Carolina - Charlotte

We created a learning community to facilitate the academic and social integration of transfer students. Longitudinal data show its positive impact on participants' academic success.

Improving the Academic and Social Integration of Transfer Students


Transfer students are a growing population of undergraduates who are academically at-risk but often underserved by 4-year institutions. We created a transfer learning community (TLC) for entering psychology transfer students to enhance their social and academic integration and success. The TLC is a cohort-based, discipline-centered LC, incorporating a range of strategies associated with transfer success, including linked courses, in-community advising, collaborative learning, and embedded co-curricular activities. This study reports the positive impact of the TLC on the 265 transfer students who have participated in the program during its first three years.


Transfer Students, Learning Communities, Academic and Social Integration


Learn about a discipline-centered learning community for transfer students and how it can impact the social integration and academic success of participants.
Envision ways in which our TLC model might be adopted or adapted for use with a range of student groups across diverse academic disciplines.
Apply lessons learned from our program and its assessment to ensure successful transfer of our model to yield a similar positive impact.

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Improving the Academic and Social Integration of Transfer StudentsKim Buch, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
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Coston, C. T. M. (2019). Transfer student success: Yet more support for learning communities. Learning Communities Research and Practice, 7(2), Article 7.

Rhine, T. J., Milligan, D. M., & Nelson, L. R. (2000). Alleviating transfer shock: Creating an environment for more successful transfer stu- dents. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 24(6), 443–453.

Thomas, D. T., Walsh, E. T., Torr, B. M., Alvarez, A. S., & Malagon, M. C. (2018). Incorporating high-impact practices for retention: A learning community model for transfer students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, & Practice, 23(2), 243–263. 1521025118813618

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