College Planning & Management

JAN 2013

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STUDENT SUCCESS BACKING IN REVERSE TRANSFERS ACCORDING TO THE LATEST Signature Report, "Reverse Transfer: A National View of Student Mobility from FourYear to Two-Year Institutions" from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (, reverse transfer students may become the new "normal." Reverse transfer is defined as a student enrolled in a four-year institution that transfers to a two-year school. As more and more universities are partnering with community colleges to make conventional transferring smoother, this new behavior may require new thinking. Another report, "Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Pre-Degree Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions," sheds more light. The study focuses on first-time-in-college students who entered four-year colleges and universities in fall 2005 and follows their college enrollments for six years through the summer of 2011. The report examined the prevalence of reverse transfer to two-year colleges, with contextual information on summer session course-taking behavior in two-year institutions as well. Findings are enlightening: Within six years, 14.4 percent of fi rst-time students who started at a four-year institution enrolled at a two-year institution outside of summer months, and only 16.6 percent of these students returned to their original institution while 28.3 percent returned to a different four-year institution. The majority of transfer students, 71.1 percent, stayed in two-year institutions for more than one term. By the end of the six-year study, two-thirds of reverse transfer students had neither credentials from nor were still enrolled at a four-year institution. Finally only one in 10 of these students completed a degree or was still enrolled at the original four-year institution by the end of the study. However, enrolling in a two-year institution during the summer months has a different outcome. According to the study, 77.5 percent of students who started at a four-year institution then enrolled in a two-year institution over summer break, returned to their original school and completed a degree. By contrast, of those students who started in a four-year institution and did not go to a two-year institution, only 58.4 percent completed a degree at their institution of origin. Additionally, depending on the length of stay in a two-year institution, only 33 to 40 percent of the students who started at a four-year institution, enrolled in a twoyear institution in non-summer months, and then returned to their original fouryear institution successfully completed their college careers. What does this mean for higher education? "The fi ndings from this study have implications for policy at the institutional, state, and national levels," states Dr. Doug Shapiro, executive research director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. "Institutions can use this information to craft policies that help them reach enrollment goals. Students will be able to make better decisions about their educational pathways. Both institutions and public policymakers will have more comprehensive measures of student success, and better indicators for institutional accountability." MENTAL HEALTH GOING TO THE DOGS USING PETS TO REDUCE STRESS FOR THE STRESSED OUT STUDENTS AT Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, relief arrived on four legs in 2012: puppies. According to the Huffington Post, the University offered a puppy room for students in early December, courtesy of Therapeutic Paws of Canada. Dalhousie isn't the first Canadian school to bring in the dogs, as the University of Ottawa and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, also received visits from furry friends. "Some students said they missed their family dog back home and needed to get a puppy fix. Others had come from an exam and were looking for a distraction," McGill student and event coordinator Amanda Fraser told OpenFile. Dogs are wagging their way onto campus 18 on this side of the border, as well. Dogs on Campus ( offers pet therapy at Ohio's Kent State University, while Macalester College in Minnesota also has a puppy program. Boston-area schools, including Boston University, Bentley University, Suffolk University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provided meet-and-greets with trained therapy dogs in an effort to help students relieve some of the stress and anxiety that finals bring. Students can even check out a pet like a library book at Harvard Medical School or Yale Law School, according to USA Today. Also in December, during finals, New York's University at Buffalo (UB) Libraries invited more than a dozen pooches to visit two UB COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JANUARY 2013 libraries, offering students a chance nuzzle with something aside from their schoolwork. The dogs and their human companions that partnered with UB came from Therapy Animals of Western New York, or TAWNY (, an organization that promotes the healing powers of dogs and other animals. UB's Health Sciences Library began bringing therapy dogs on campus during final exams in December 2011. "We had a student who came in and a staff person commented they had never seen that student smile," says Richelle Reid, a law librarian who started Emory University's pet therapy program on the school's Atlanta, GA, campus this year after reading about one at the University of California, San Francisco, in USA Today. "It has had positive effects, helping them to just have a moment to clear their minds and not have to think about studies, not have to think about books." CPM WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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