Research in Higher Education

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 57–73

The transition to college: Diverse students, diverse stories


  • Patrick T. Terenzini
    • National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and AssessmentThe Pennsylvania State University
  • Laura I. Rendon
  • M. Lee Upcraft
  • Susan B. Millar
  • Kevin W. Allison
  • Patricia L. Gregg
  • Romero Jalomo

DOI: 10.1007/BF02496662

Cite this article as:
Terenzini, P.T., Rendon, L.I., Lee Upcraft, M. et al. Res High Educ (1994) 35: 57. doi:10.1007/BF02496662


While much is known about the role of student involvement in various dimensions of student change and development, considerably less is known abouthow students become involved as they make the transition from work or high school to college. This paper describes the results of a series of focus-group interviews with 132 diverse, new students entering a community college; a liberal arts college; an urban, commuter, comprehensive university; and a large research university. The study identifies the people, experiences, and themes in the processes through which students become (or fail to become) members of the academic and social communities on their campus.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1994