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Transfer student analysis and retention: a collaborative endeavor

Trudi Jacobson (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)
John Delano (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)
Linda Krzykowski (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)
Laurie Garafola (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)
Meghan Nyman (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)
Holly Barker-Flynn (University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 14 August 2017



This paper aims to describe a multifaceted campus-wide initiative to retain transfer students that was undertaken when it was recognized that their retention rates were lower than those of first-time, full-time students.


The Enhancing Student Experience (ESE) Working Group at the University at Albany (UAlbany) brought together key parties from Student Affairs and academic units, including the University Libraries, and provided an energizing arena in which existing student engagement and retention endeavors were discussed and coordinated, and new initiatives were inspired.


This paper reflects the work of a subcommittee of the ESE group that focused on developing strategies to increase the retention rate of students who transferred to UAlbany, and identifying characteristics of those first-time, full-time students who transferred from UAlbany. The efforts discussed in this paper, which were guided by professional experiences, institutional data and published reports, resulted in a 2 per cent increase in the student retention rate in the past two years.

Research limitations/implications

The data collection and analysis, and the initiatives, are specific to one public research university.

Practical implications

Initiatives undertaken to address the retention of transfer students have begun to have an impact.


The “all-hands-on-deck” approach described in this paper demonstrates how strategic collaborations among the many institutional stakeholders at a public research university were marshalled to have a significant and positive impact on student retention.



Jacobson, T., Delano, J., Krzykowski, L., Garafola, L., Nyman, M. and Barker-Flynn, H. (2017), "Transfer student analysis and retention: a collaborative endeavor", Reference Services Review, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 421-439.



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