• Article

The anxiety of change How new transfer students overcome challenges

To explore obstacles commonly faced by transfer students before and after transition to a four-year
university, focus groups were conducted with 14 students who recently transferred from community
college. One of the main sources of anxiety was whether or not community college units transferred
to the four-year university. Prior to admittance, students did not always obtain accurate advising
at the community college level about which courses to take in order to prepare for transfer. After
enrolling at the four-year university, students experienced stress over the significant delay it took for
the university to evaluate and transfer their community college units toward their degree progress. In
addition, students who transferred from community college often had to face their own doubts about
academically succeeding at a university level, wade through an overwhelming amount of information
about different universities and majors in order to decide where to apply, and quickly adjust to
the new institution by figuring out how to enroll in classes and locate other needed information.
Recommendations are provided concerning what community colleges and universities can do to
minimize these challenges.


Chin-Newman, C., & Shaw, S. (2013). The anxiety of change: How new transfer students overcome challenges. Journal of College Admission, 221(1), 14 - 21.