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Poisel, M.A., & Joseph, S. (Ed.). (2018). Building transfer student pathways for college and career success. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition and the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students.

Review by Laura Garey, North Carolina State University, lkgarey@ncsu.edu

Building Transfer Student Pathways for College and Career Success, edited by Mark Allen Poisel and Sonya Joseph, is a short but informative book that provides helpful information for professionals in higher education who work or have an interest in working with transfer students.  The authors identify the need for institutions, administrators, and advisors to aid transfer students through their transition and continue that support throughout their time at the institution.  By providing guidelines and case studies, the authors suggest methods for postsecondary institutions to establish their own transfer programs and collaborate with each other to help students navigate their experience while reducing negative effects associated with transferring (e.g. transfer credits not counting towards new degree).

Transfer students face many challenges and the book’s authors recognize that advisors play a crucial role in supporting this student population. Throughout the book, the authors incorporate different guidelines and methods that advisors will find helpful when working with transfer students.  In addition, the book dedicates a chapter specifically for advisors: Academic Advising for Mobile Students (Van Der Kar, 2018).  The authors touch on all NACADA Core Values, but highlight three core values: Care, Empowerment, and Inclusivity (NACADA, 2017a).  The authors explain the need for advisors to quickly build rapport with transfer students (Care), to motivate transfer students to identify their academic and professional goals (Empowerment), and to recognize that transfer students follow different academic pathways (Inclusivity). 

The authors explain that advisors should be aware of transfer shock: the phenomenon that “students experience a dip in GPA during their first semester at the four-year institution followed by a recovery in subsequent semesters” (Van Der Kar, 2018).  The book explains that students’ struggle to adapt to new institutional situations and expectations while they navigate new social and academic relationships in a short period of time.  To help advisors support new transfer students, the book provides an advising timeline and advising intake questions that incorporate NACADA’s Informational and Relational components in the Core Competency Areas (NACADA, 2017b).  Using the Core Values of Care, Empowerment, and Inclusivity (relational components) and the information in the book, advisors can help transfer students anticipate new challenges and develop goals to manage transfer shock.  In addition, the authors explain that advisors’ knowledge on institutional policies, degree requirements, and on-campus resources (informational components) are important tools to assist in the student’s development in problem-solving and self-efficacy at their new institution. 

Building Transfer Student Pathways for College and Career Success is an informative book that advisors will find helpful when interacting with transfer students, especially during the students’ first semester.  The book’s conclusions and recommendations are supported by research and case studies so readers will be up to date about current programs and issues that can affect transfer students.  By incorporating NACADA’s Core Values (NACADA, 2017a) and Core Competences (NACADA, 2017b), the tools and information provided in the book will help advisors to anticipate issues transfer students may experience and to help smooth the transition so that transfer students can achieve their postsecondary education goals. 

References:

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA core values of academic advising. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreValues.aspx

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017). NACADA academic advising core competencies model. Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Pillars/CoreCompetencies.aspx

Poisel, M.A., & Joseph, S. (Ed.). (2018). Building transfer student pathways for college and career success. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition and the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students.

Van Der Kar, C. A. (2018). Academic advising for student mobility. In M. A. Poisel, & S. Joseph, Building transfer pathways for college and career success (pp. 73-91). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition and the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students.

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