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Considering leaving before they've even started: an examination of freshmen at risk for transfer

Yiting Chang (Assistant Professor, based at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA)
Nava Lerer (Director of the Office of Research, Assessment and Planning, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, USA)
Kathryn Talley (Director of Institutional Research at TCS Education System, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 28 September 2010




Most retention literature compares students who remain at an institution with those who leave. This paper seeks to extend the analysis by focusing on freshmen who leave in order to transfer to another institution. Using person‐centered and variable centered approaches, it aims to examine subgroups to determine variables contributing to different transfer rates.


Data were collected through surveys, and a quantitative approach was used to analyze the data.


By the unique nature of the sample (i.e. students contemplating transfer to another institution even before their freshman year at Adelphi begins) and utilization of person‐centered and variable‐centered analytic approaches, the current results provide both practical and methodological implications for student retention.


This is an original work which was previously presented at the 2006 Northeast Association of Institutional Association annual conference.



Chang, Y., Lerer, N. and Talley, K. (2010), "Considering leaving before they've even started: an examination of freshmen at risk for transfer", On the Horizon, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 346-354.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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