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Getting a Head Start on Transfer Shock at a Newly Established Engineering College

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Transfer and Transitions

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Eliza A. Banu University of Georgia

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Dr. Eliza Banu has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania and completed her Ph.D. program in Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University in 2014. Dr. Banu's research interests are in biomechanics and developing innovative instructional materials and techniques. She is Assistant Editor for the Journal of STEM Education: Research and Innovation and affiliated with the Engineering Education Transformation Institute (EETI) at UGA. She is part of the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia since August 2017.

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Nicola W. Sochacka University of Georgia

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Dr. Nicola Sochacka is the Associate Director for Research Initiation and Enablement in the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Her research interests include interpretive research quality, systems thinking, diversity, STEAM (STEM + Art) education, and the role of empathy in engineering education and practice. Her work has been recognized through multiple best paper awards and keynote presentations at international and national conferences and workshops.

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Sarah Elizabeth Franklin

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My name is Sarah Franklin and I am finishing my third year of Biological Engineering at the University of Georgia. I received my Associate of Science and Technology degree in 2018 from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia. This summer I currently have an internship working in the Liang Laboratory at Emory University. After graduation, I hope to research stem cells and/or organ regrowth. I should receive my Bachelor's degree from UGA in the Fall of 2020.

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Kosi Ofunne

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In their pursuit for a bachelor’s degree in engineering, some students use a transfer pathway from a two-year college to a four-year institution. Prior research on transfer students focuses on the challenges these students face during this transition, often referred to as “transfer shock,” and the differences between student experiences during their tenure at the two institutions (e.g., involvement in extracurricular activities; contact with faculty; academic advising/counseling services). This research has been instrumental in highlighting the challenges of adapting to the realities and expectations of four-year institutions and have informed programs that are built with the intention of easing this transition and adjustment to the new institution’s climate and culture. Our research builds on this prior work by focusing on the assets, specifically strengths and resources, that transfer students bring to four-year institutions, and how the new institution can foster these assets for not only an easier transition, but to build confidence and integration in the new community. We examine two research questions: i) What assets (i.e., strengths and resources) do transfer students bring with them to four-year institutions? And, ii) To what extent do students recognize these assets as relevant during and after their transition period? Since its establishment in 2012, the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia has increased in enrollment from 200 to over 2,100 undergraduate students. Approximatively 20% of these students transfer into the second or third year from one of the state colleges in our state. In order to create a shared understanding of the assets that transfer students bring to our institution, two faculty worked closely with two undergraduate students and one adviser. Data collection involved guided reflection writing by the two students and adviser on topics as informed by the theoretical framework. These reflections bring to light some psychological, social, cognitive, and environmental resources that students in transition can draw on to maximize success and minimize the transfer shock phenomenon.

Banu, E. A., & Sochacka, N. W., & Franklin, S. E., & Ofunne, K. (2019, June), Getting a Head Start on Transfer Shock at a Newly Established Engineering College Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32871

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