“It All Just Clicked: A longitudinal Perspective on Transitions within University”
READING REFLECTION: TRANSITION TO COLLEGE 2
Reading Reflection: “It All Just Clicked: A longitudinal Perspective on Transitions within University”
The article I am read is a longitudinal study from a scholarly journal. The researchers were interested in the transition of students in a university educationally, socially and psychologically. They state, “Much of this has concentrated on the first year of university study, and has focused on investigating students’ knowledge of, and engagement with, a new learning community” (Hazel et al. 2014). The aim of this study was to follow up with the students after they had completed their third or fourth year of study (depending upon their course of study) and determine the adjustments and changes the students made over the years.
The researchers conducted informal interviews and had the students complete standardized questionnaires upon entry the university, and at the end of each year of their time at the university. They began with thirty five student and ended with twenty students. Their first finding was that students had a difficult time becoming independent learners. They were not confident in research and writing skills. By their last year, they felt more confident of their skills. Their next finding was student understanding of the context of their coursework. At first, required classes and assignments didn’t seem to make sense. By the third year, there was a better understanding of the big picture and the context of their learning. Another difficulty the student overcame was a lack of confidence, letting go of concrete thinking and becoming a critical thinker.
Upon entering university, most students question themselves and their identity, they are unsure of themselves (Scanlon, Rowling & Weber 2007). There is a definite lack of confidence
READING REFLECTION: TRANSITION TO COLLEGE 3
for new students. They are thrust into a world they do not understand, a new physical environment, new people to relate to and very little support from teachers and professors. They must adapt to a new ecosystem that is human built and socio-cultural in nature (Evans et al, 2010). This study confirmed previous studies of a new students experiences.
There was a loss of fifteen students over the course of the study. This implies that they must have not been able to adapt to the new set of expectations at the university level. I felt the evidence the researchers presented was valid and reliable. By coupling a formal questionnaire with the verbal interview, data was sound and trustworthy. The students who completed the study and their college careers were able to identify the changes they went though over the course of their career. The participants stated how they better understood their role as a learner, learning how to question and investigate, and developing confidence in their writing and research skills. Balancing their personal life (home, work, relationships) with school was also mentioned as a source of stress in the beginning. Research that I performed for this reflection also corroborates the findings. Most studies I found only examined a student’s first year experience, this study took the experience for the entire educational experience over three or four years,
I agreed with the findings of this study. There were no surprises for me in the reading and the findings. I related to several of the quotes made by students during the interview process, “That was really  really hard I think even for the most able of students it was a really
hard thing to get your head around but I did eventually” (Hazel 2014). I am living the experience as are my friends and fellow classmates. Many universities offer programs such as orientations for new students who are entering in their first year. I find that student develop relationships to explore and discuss the transitions they are experiencing and support each other.
READING REFLECTION: TRANSITION TO COLLEGE 4
Chemers, Martin M.; Hu, Li-tze; Garcia, Ben F.(2001). Academic self-efficacy and first year
Evans, Nancy, Forney, Deeana, Guido, Florence, Patton, Lori, Glenn, Kristin (2010). Student
Development in college: theory, research and practice. Jossey-Bass, SanFrancisco.
Hazel Christie, Lyn Tett, Viviene E. Cree, and Velda McCune (2014). ‘It all just clicked’:
a longitudinal perspective on transitions within university. Studies in Higher Education,
Scanlon, Leslie, Rowling, Louise, Weber, Zita (2007). You don't have like an identity
you are just lost in a crowd’: forming a student identity in the first-year transition to