NRCFYE - Research Reports on College Transitions

Research Reports on College Transitions

2008 National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives
Curricular and Cocurricular Structures Supporting the Success of Second-Year College Students
The inaugural report in the National Resource Center's new research series on college transitions examines institutional initiatives designed to support students in the second college year. The authors report on findings from the second administration of the National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives, describing the kinds of programs offered for second-year students, where those programs are housed, who directs them, and how they are assessed. Additional analysis provides insight into the initiatives offered at different institutional types and the structure of longstanding and successful sophomore initiatives.

Paper: 978 1 889271 72 9 / $20.00
2011 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences
Institutional-Level Data on the Culminating Experience
In 2011, the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition revisited its 1999 National Survey of Senior Seminars and Capstone Courses to explore the current state of culminating experiences in American higher education. Drawn from a sample of public and private colleges and universities across the country, the 2011 survey focuses on both course- and project-based senior capstone experiences to examine the purposes, content, organization, administration, and assessment of culminating experiences. The research report, 2011 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences: Institutional-Level Data on the Culminating Experience, offers a discussion of the findings and implications for practice and future research. Designed to be accessible and informative, this research report can assist both higher education researchers and practitioners in understanding the potential of capstones to promote student learning and development during the concluding chapter of college.

Paper: 978 1 889271 86 6 / $20.00
2012-2013 National Survey of First-Year Seminars
Exploring High-Impact Practices in the First College Year
For a quarter century, the National Resource Center has been examining the prevalence, structure, and administration of first-year seminars on American college campuses. The 2012-2013 administration of the National Survey of First-Year Seminars was expanded to explore the connection between the seminar and other high-impact practices in the first college year, including learning communities, service-learning, common reading programs, undergraduate research, and writing instruction. Findings are disaggregated by institutional characteristics and seminar type so that readers may easily identify the course features with the greatest relevance for their own context.

Paper: 978 1 889271 90 3 / $25.00
2016 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences
Expanding our Understanding of Culminating Experiences
Senior capstone experiences, one of a number of high-impact educational practices promoted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, provide students with an opportunity to integrate and apply what they have learned throughout their undergraduate years. Participating in capstone experiences have been linked to engagement in deep learning and gains in personal and social development, practical competence, and general education. The 2016 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences is an institution-level study designed to gather a national profile of campus efforts to promote student success in the senior year. This research report presents findings related to institutional priorities for the senior year, the types of capstone experiences offered, and the organization and administration of select capstone experiences.

Paper: 978 1 942072 12 6 / $25.00
An Exploration of Intersecting Identities of First-Generation, Low-Income Students
In January 2014, the White House urged that college be made more accessible for low-income Americans. Moving beyond access to success, however, requires knowing more about the experiences of these students.

This research report captures the challenges low-income, first-generation students face in their collegiate journey, examining the strategies they employ to persist. Organized thematically and using student narrative, the brief report explores the diversity of first-generation students, the intersections of their multiple identities, and their interactions with the institutional agents that affect college success. An Exploration of Intersecting Identities of First-Generation, Low-Income Students also offers practical suggestions for higher education professionals working with this diverse and growing population. 

Paper: 978 1 889271 97 2 / $20.00
Investigating Sophomore Student Success
The National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives and the Sophomore Experiences Survey, 2014
Less is known about the second college year compared to other transition points, and fewer high-impact initiatives and curricular programs tend to be offered to sophomores. To increase our knowledge of this important, but sometimes neglected, year on the collegiate journey, The National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives and the Sophomore Experiences Survey was undertaken. Researchers explored sophomore student characteristics, institutional efforts to support sophomores, and student perceptions of their learning and development. Divided into three sections, the report offers an overview of each survey instrument and an integrated discussion of findings and their implications for practice and ongoing research. The research report provides useful tools for institutions looking for benchmarks to create new sophomore-year programs or restructure existing initiatives.

Paper: 978 1 889271 95 8 / $25.00
What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact?
Exploring Effective Educational Practices
Edited by Tracy L. Skipper
First-year seminars have been widely hailed as a high-impact educational practice, leading to improved academic performance, increased retention, and achievement of critical 21st Century learning outcomes. While the first-year seminar tends to be narrowly defined in the literature, national explorations of course structure and administration underscore the diversity of these curricular initiatives across and within individual campuses. What then are the common denominators among these highly variable courses that contribute to their educational effectiveness?

This collection of case studies--representing a wide variety of institutional and seminar types--addresses this question. Using Kuh and O’Donnell’s eight conditions of effective educational initiatives as a framework, authors describe the structure, pedagogy, and assessment strategies that lead to high-quality seminars. Introductory and concluding essays examine the structural conditions that are likely to support educational effectiveness in the seminar and describe the most commonly reported conditions across all cases. What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact? offers abundant models for ensuring the delivery of a high-quality educational experience to entering students.

Paper: 978 1 9420 7201 0 / $25.00