Book by Susan B. Weir, Thomson Wadsworth
Review by Mandy Anderson
Arts & Sciences
Kent State University

Susan B. Weir’s Transitions: A Guide for the Transfer Student is a slim volume filled with information advisors instructing orientation classes specifically designed for transfer students would find useful.  Her tone is upbeat, keeping a positive, can-do attitude throughout the piece.  It reads quickly and covers all aspects of transitioning to a new college.  Special attention is given to the unique struggles nontraditional transfer students may face.  It should be noted that Weir intends this book for use by upper-class transfer students.

Overall, the book itself is quite useful.  The first portion of the piece would likely prove to be the most helpful to both advisor/instructor and student.  Transfer students are explained as a population, as is the term transfer shock and how to avoid it.  Additionally, information is given that all students would find useful: study skills, time management, and financial concerns.  The latter portion of the book addresses topics that would likely appeal to upper-class students preparing for life after graduation.  Career planning and adjusting to life after college are the topics that comprise the last few chapters.  These are areas that would appeal to Weir’s intended audience of upper-class students.

The orientation instructor who opts to use this book as the basis for a transfer orientation class will find that much of the basic prep work is complete. Weir states she kept the book short so instructors could add content specific to their college or university.  Each chapter begins with a listing of learning objectives for the section as well as a short quiz that helps students identify areas for special attention.  In addition to the traditional content, Weir has inserted sidebars that offer supplemental information students may find helpful. One such sidebar explains the different faculty titles, ranging from adjunct through full professor. These are titles many college students hear without being entirely certain of their meaning. The chapters all conclude with a journal assignment, summary, and case study.  The case studies would be conducive to a classroom conversation summarizing the theme of the chapter and allowing students to share personal experiences.     

The growing population of transfer students may find that this text helps them better adjust to their new college environment.  Although the traditional student may find some of the information intended for nontraditional students a bit extraneous, one should credit Weir for successfully addressing the needs of a broad range of students.  For its small size, the book covers a number of pertinent issues that apply to our diverse student population.

Transitions: A guide for the transfer student. (2008) Book by Susan B. Review by Mandy Anderson. Belmont, CA: Thomas Wadsworth 192 pp., (paperback), ISBN # 1413022790
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