Didn’t print out slides; email contact is on the handout; will happily send slides if email is sent Proposing method of working with transfer students in the S.T.E.M. fields based on theoretical underpinnings from counseling psychology, positive psychology, business, and student development My impetus for project: Saw a number of students coming into the Forensic Science Program from a local community college, with many credits not counting toward specific degree requirements. Once here, they were looking at 6+ semesters instead of 2 years. Probably because they didn’t set themselves up for transition
AFTER OUTLINE: “ Good advising may be the single most underestimated characteristic of a successful college experience” –Light, 2001 “ Human beings relate to each other not simply externally, like two billiard balls, but by the relations of the two worlds of experience that come into play when two people meet” -Laing, 1967
Tinto (1993): ease of transition will depend on the student-institutional match Student characteristics influence student’s commitment to education/persistence to graduate Student characteristics impacting ease of transition: 1.) Family background (SES, parental educational background, family expectations) 2.) Individual attributes (academic ability, coping abilities, personality, race, gender) 3.) Pre-college schooling (secondary school characteristics, GPA) Interaction with members of the institution will facilitate academic and social integration, which increases commitment to institution/academic goals--> Persistence to graduate
Transfer Shock/Culture Shock Whitfield (2005) compared grades in organic chemistry and biochemistry classes for transfer and native students… -native students did better in upper divisional coursework indicating a “transfer coma” as opposed to “transfer shock” in coursework Reconfiguring Identities: “ Students transferring…must negotiate new roles and relationships to become fully integrated into the new institution. The period of negotiation is commonly referred to as a transition period—a period of uncertainty in which students alter their routines and relationships and adapt to a new environment.” -Cameron, 2005 In what ways does an identity reconstruction shape their new experiences? Beyond culture changes, how does being a student working toward an A.S. in Applied Science see themselves differently as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering?
Rigorous curriculums (read: prepardness?) “ I do not think that people realize how difficult it actually is to transition from a [community] college curriculum to a university curriculum. At one point I was on the verge of dropping out and giving up…but was essentially talked out of it by a professor who provided encouragement, support, and flexibility. I needed to get to a level- academically- where I felt comfortable to continue” (qtd in Cameron, 2005). Sequential curriculums (have the students fulfilled pre-requisites?) Lack of equivalent coursework: at our institution, the Biological Sciences have very few comparable courses at community colleges, tho Chemistry, Math, and Physics generally transfer pretty well have not planned for their transfer or because they do not understand the rigors of our curriculum, ineffective academic advising
Schlossberg “believed a need existed to develop a framework that would facilitate an understanding of adults in transition and aid them in connecting to the help they needed to cope with the ‘ordinary and extraordinary process of living’” (Evans, et al., 2010). “ A transition has no end point; rather, a transition is a process over time that includes phases of assimilation and continuous appraisal as people move in, through, and out of it” (53)
EACH STUDENT IS UNIQUE….ESPECIALLY IMP WITH FORS STUDENTS WHO OFTEN COME IN WITH DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS DEFINE PERCEPTION OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Type of Transition Context in which it took place Impact upon the Individual The role of perception by the individual going through the transition is crucial; defines whether or not it is a transition Retirement might be a terrible experience for one person and an amazing experience for another
Anticipated: Getting married, graduation from college Unanticipated: Loved one dying in a car accident, winning the lottery NON-EVENT: Not getting admitted to med school; Me NOT winning the Lottery does NOT count!
Diagram shows that one’s areas in each of these 4 areas are relevant and inter-related at every step of the transition Assets and liabilities in each of these four areas is critical at all stages of a transition
“ Appreciative Advising is the intentional collaborative practice of asking positive, open-ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials” -approaches life as a series of opportunities, rather than a series of problems -social-constructivist: knowledge is constructed based on prior knowledge and learning is gained through personal experiences and social interactions -reciprocal process, taking advising context into consideration -rooted in Positive Psychology, study of optimal human functioning -Appreciative Inquiry (AI) (Cooperrider, Sorenson, Whitney, & Yeager, 2000): “the cooperative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the world around them…AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to heighten positive potential” Whitney, 2000, p. 10).
Disarm: Making a positive first impression with students and allaying any fear or suspicion they might have of meeting with the advisor Discover: Building rapport with students and learning about their strengths, skills, and abilities Dream: Uncovering students’ hopes and dreams Design: Co-creating a plan to make students’ hopes and dreams come true; devising a self-authored plan Deliver: Implementation phase where students carry out their plan and the advisor’s role is to support them as they encounter roadblocks. Don’t Settle: Challenging the student to achieve their full potential
These two models can be used in conjunction…see how these models work in simultaneous function Goodman et al. (2006) presented again the following integration of the two models, originally suggested by Schlossberg et al. (1995).
Pedagogy See myself as a teacher, guiding students through their curriculum, helping them make connections to their interests and passion Focusing on Strengths---focusing on weakness is like advising a student who is not there. Importantly, this does not involve lying to them! Education as a life long process …Don’t allow the language of “getting that out of the way” in my office. Encourage students to take responsibility for their education, to choose ACE courses which will interest them and facilitate growth. Won’t speak to students about “easy classes”
Effective open-ended questioning: “ By utilizing positive, open-ended questions, [advisors] can extract narratives through which they can help students identify their strengths, passions, and skills” (p. 43) -Discussion questions which help to generate said narrative to explore strengths, etc. listen for themes Strength-based story reconstruction: helping students put together their strengths and assets
Brainstorm options, discuss pros and cons of each, encourage student to thoroughly research options and determine intended and unintended ramifications Backward designing: starting at the end, and evaluating what you need to get there; Covey: “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction” Graphic organizers: visual representations of information Personal Presidential cabinet: who in student’s life is good for what function
Key Features: Challenge and support (proper balance necessary for optimal growth) Raising the Bar (but careful not to raise it too far, too soon) Virtuous Cycle (“an improvement in one area leads to an improvement in another area, which then leads to further improvement”…opposite of a downward or vicious cycle)
Triggers: What was the impetus for the transfer/control: was it planned or unplanned? Role Change: how has the transfer student’s role changed as the result of transfer? New identity? Duration: is this student planning to stay here through degree completion? Previous experiences with similar transition: particularly with Swirlers, has the student experienced a transition like this? How did he/she perceive that transition? Schlossberg: “Past experiences to some extent determine the person’s mental set, and if that past experience was unfavorable, then the mental set may be something of a self-confirming prophecy” (64). Swirlers…why do they keep transferring? Concurrent Stress: HUGE! What other stressors is the student experiencing? The more they experience, the more exacerbated the stress becomes: geographic relocation, new identities, professional transformation, social life….etc Assessment (more accurately ‘perception’): Does the student perceive this to be positive, negative or neutral?
How do Socioeconomic Status, Gender ( especially in STEM ), Age/Stage of Life (Non-traditional student?) Examples—woman in Engineering transferring her junior year…how will she fit in…. Age: non-traditional student with family…relating to 20-year olds ----------- Is the student able to deal with the world in an autonomous way? Can they tolerate ambiguity? On Ego Development: Schlossberg et al: “Knowing the level of ego development of a client can be useful to counselors…you may better tailor your interventions” (70) Outlook: is the glass half empty or half full? Those who sense they are in control of their lives will likely do better (70) Does student feel in control of their responses to the transition? Do they feel their efforts will effect the transfer experience? Does the transfer and college experience has a meaning/purpose? Do they have characteristics that suggest resiliency?
What is support? What is needed to support someone who is disenfranchised? Definition: “to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction” OR “to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to exist; provide for”
Challenging the absolutes (can’t, impossible) Victim/ Creator Language I can’t be successful in my STATICS class because my CC classes didn’t prepare me for them Victim/creator language: important to confront students on this…may be trying to play victim. Problem: Finding a parking space is so frustrating. The school shouldn’t let non-commuters have cars Solution: I know I can find a space if I just come a little earlier Problem: I can’t help the fact that I always arrive late to class. I have to work late Solution: If I get up when my alarm goes off then I can get to class on time or even early. So, I need to make arrangements to not work late when I know I have an early class the next day Problem: My professor has it in for me: He just talk nonsense to the whole class. Solution: My professor is very knowledgeable about the subject. Maybe I just need to speak with him about why I am having a hard time understanding the material. Problem: I have to take way too many classes to meet general education requirements. Solution: If I simply break it down to what I’ll have to take each semester it won’t seem as overwhelming. It will also be a smaller goal, which will be easier to accomplish. (Bloom 84-85)
Have them look at the Appreciative Advising Inventory: Particularly nos 6, 12, 18, 19, 41 We are in the process of developing our own inventory based on asset and liabilies in the 4 S’s
Managing Change: “ Change is not as mysterious as it seems. By looking at the degree to which a transition changes one’s roles, relationships, routines, and assumptions, counselors can help clients gauge how traumatic a transition will be. Then counselors can help clients examine their potential resources for coping and identify deficits, and can then jointly plan ways of compensating for those deficits by deciding whether to change them, change their meaning, or manage the resultant stress. One can also better understand a client’s stress by looking at where the client is in the transition process” (Schlossberg, 276).
Circumventing transfer shock
CircumventingTransfer Shock!: Using Schlossberg’s Transition Theory to ease the Transition of Transfer Students Craig M. McGill, M.M., M.S.
Outline:• Foreground ‘Transfer Culture’ – Types of Transfer Students – Challenges for students in S.T.E.M. areas• Theoretical Base – Transition Theory – Counseling Model – Appreciative Advising• Pedagogical Application – Process: combining frameworks & approaches – Tools: Transition theory and inventories – Evaluation and follow up
Transfer Culture• In 2006, students aged 25 and older made up nearly 40% of the country’s overall college population (U.S. Department of Education, 2009)• Almost 60% of students have attended at least two institutions (Adelman, 2006)So…How can advisors better understand the Transition of Transfer Students? – No model in the literature that attempted to explain the transition process of transfer students (Cameron, 2005).
Campus-specific Lingo: “UNL-isms” Blackboard (My.UNL) TrueYou Firefly MyRed (Peoplesoft) DARS DN (Daily Nebraskan) Tunnel Walk College acronyms (CASNR, ASC, CEHS) Regionalisms: Runza Emergency snow route Coke/Soda/Pop
Types of Transfer Students and ExperiencesTypes of Transfer Students:– 2-year to 4-year (2+2)– 4-year to 4-year (Lateral)– 4-year to 2-year (Reverse)– Multiple institutions in career (Swirler)Types of Transfer Experiences:8. Planned9. Unplanned
Challenges for Transfer Students• Lack of Articulation Agreements• Lost Costs – $7 billion/yr in credits not helping students move toward degree requirements (Smith, 2010)• Transfer Shock/Culture Shock• Lack of communication between institutions• Time Management/Balancing Work• Connecting to Faculty Members• Lack of Social Involvement• Reconfigure their identity
Complications in S.T.E.M. fields• Rigorous curriculums• Sequential curriculums• Lack of equivalent coursework – Complications with accrediting bodies – Lacking laboratory experiences at prior institution
Theoretical Underpinnings: Transition Theory Counseling Model Appreciative Advising
Schlossberg’s Transition Theory (1984)• First developed in the late 1970s• Been revised several times with input from other contributors – Considered a strength of her model• Psychosocial Theory• Counterpoint to age and stage perspectives• Involves three roughly defined stages: Moving In, Moving Through, and Moving Out
Schlossberg’s Transition Theory (1984)TRANSITION: “Any event, or non-event, that results in changed relationships, routines, assumptions and roles” (Schlossberg, 1984)Role of Perception: Key in the transition process; involves 2 levels of Appraisals: – Primary: How the individual feels about the transition in general – Secondary: How individual feels about their resources in dealing with the transition?
Types of Transitions:• Anticipated Transitions – Occur predictably (e.g. Planned Transfer)2. Unanticipated Transitions – Not predictable (e.g. Un-planned Transfer)3. “Non-Events” – A transition was expected, but did not occur – An ‘event’ must be likely to happen in order to qualify as a ‘non-event’ when it fails to occur
Coping with Transition: 4 S’sA person’s ability to cope with a transition is reliant on their resources in 4 areas:• Situation: ability to assess what has happened• Self: personal/demographic/psychological characteristics• Support: who is there to help• Strategies: how they handle it
Cormier and Hackney’sCounseling Model (1993) Relationship Building Assessment Goal Setting Interventions Termination/Follow-up
Appreciative Advising• Approaches life as a series of opportunities, rather than a series of problems• Social-constructivist• Reciprocal process• Rooted in Positive Psychology• Adapted from Appreciative Inquiry (Cooperrider, Sorenson, Whitney, & Yeager, 2000)
Combining 3 Models DISARMDISCOVERDREAMDESIGN DELIVER DON’T SETTLE -adapted from Goodman et al, (2006) pg. 184
DISARM: relationship-building • Warm welcome • Safe and comfortable environment • Appropriate self-disclosure • Appropriate nonverbal behavior • Have a Personal Advising PhilosophyIn relationship-building, advisors use basic listening skills to build rapport with students.
My Advising Philosophy:“My personal advising philosophy is one of pedagogy: as a teacher guides a student through the content of a single course, the advisor’s role is to show how the students’ courses relate to their entire curriculum and life-plan. Advising is not merely ticking off requirements, but rather, an exploratory and comprehensive process of helping the student to discover their life goals, values, beliefs, passions and talents. I believe advising should be focused on strengths, since dwelling on a student’s weaknesses is like advising a student who is not there. Most importantly, I do not view education as a means to an end, but rather, as a lifetime process. If I can effectively communicate that attitude to the students with whom I work, I have done my job.”
DISCOVER: assessment Through the use of inventories and discussion: • Effective open-ended questioning • Attending behavior and active listening: – Visual-eye contact – Vocal qualities-tone and rate of speech – Verbal tracking—sticking to the subject – Body language—authenticity • Strength-based story reconstructionIn assessment, advisors can assess the individual’s environment (situation), internal resources (self), external resources (support), and current coping skills (strategies).
DREAM: goal-setting In working with students through their transition, help generate goals/dreams by: • Providing conducive environment for dreaming • Making connections between the Discover and Dream phases: Are dreams in line with pieces from the assessment?In goal-setting, advisors help students to set goals related to each of the 4 S’s.
DESIGN: (goal-setting)In designing a plan of action: • Brainstorm options • Backward designing (start from the goal) • Teach students how to make decisions • Provide positive feedback • Be aware of the curse of knowledge • Make effective referrals • Graphic organizers
DELIVER: interventionsIn helping students to carry out their goals/plan, • Energizing students to be their best • Illustrate academic hope (more than one road) • End conversation/session well • Engage in Proactive Advising • Keeping students connected (socially, culturally, institutionally): Transfer Fraternity, weekly email from Transfer Coordinator, etc.In interventions, advisors can help students with reframing, changing the student’s perception of the transfer; conducting an assessment of the individual’s assets (self); referral to a support group (support); and generating problem-solving strategies (strategies).
DON’T SETTLE: termination and follow-up For students to feel supported, it’s important to follow-up: • Continue to challenge and support • Raise the bar • Virtuous/positive cycle • Encourage students to write letter to new transfer student (in the guise of writing to themselves before they transitioned)In termination and follow-up, advisor can aid the transfer student in reviewing what has happened thus far and planning next steps.
Pedagogical Application• Schlossberg’s theory Answers: – Why different people react differently to the same type of transition – Why the same person reacts differently at different times• Applying theory: – Helping students approach transitions requires knowledge of the transition framework – Help students evaluate their resources in the 4 S’s – Help strengthen those assets
Situation• Triggers• Control (planned or unplanned transfer?)• Role Change• Duration• Previous experiences with similar transition• Concurrent Stress• Assessment
SelfPersonal/Demographic Characteristics• Socioeconomic Status• Gender• Age/Stage of Life• State of health• Ethnicity/CulturePsychosocial Resources• Ego Development• Outlook• Commitment and Values• Spirituality and Resiliency
Strategies• What strategies is the student using that is impacting the transition?• How effective are current strategies in helping them cope with transition? – 3 ways of coping: • Modifying the situation (hope and optimism) • Controlling the meaning (reframing) • Managing stress after transition (selective denial)• Challenging the absolutes – Victim/ Creator Language
Where now?Inventories:• A.) Transfer Student Inventory• B.) Appreciative Advising InventoryFuture:• Continue to develop Transfer Inventory• Qualitative Research Study to see if Transfer Students experience the transfer experience in this way