Out of sight, not out of mind: addressing the lack of transition supports for transfer students entering fully online programs at Western Carolina

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Myra Keener Watson (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Kim Winter

Abstract: Students who transfer from a two-year institution to a four-year institution often have some difficulty settling into their new university home, but a combination of social and academic supports can ease the transition. This change to a new institution can be even more difficult for students who are transitioning into a fully-online program. Face-to-face and campus-based transition supports and orientations are often neither applicable nor feasible for students transferring into fully-online programs, leaving this population of students moving to a new institution with supports that are non-existent at worst and inconsistent at best. This improvement initiative explores the impact of social supports on sense of community and persistence for students transferring into fully-online programs. An online community hosted via the Facebook social media platform for students in the Birth-Kindergarten Program at Western Carolina University (WCU) was implemented to provide community and support. Participants reported higher rates of connectedness as a result of participation in the online learning community. Practical implications are discussed for increasing connection and community among students who transfer to a fully-online program.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Online Program, Social Media, Social Supports, Transfer Student, Transition
Online learning and distance education
Western Carolina University
Social media
Social networks
Transfer students

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