Exploring the role of sense of community in the undergraduate transfer student experienceedit
Sense of community may play an important role in the undergraduate transfer student experience by encouraging academic and social success. This cross‐sectional study assessed sense of community in the transfer experiences of 53 students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) subjects. Sense of community, participation, and GPA were analyzed using moderated regression analysis, t tests, and cross‐tabulations. Results suggest that students who reported high participation in STEM activities and strong sense of community performed better academically than students who reported high participation and low sense of community. Further, results highlight discrepancies between students’ actual and ideal sense of community (particularly for female and non‐White students), as well as greater importance placed upon sense of community at the post‐transfer institution compared to the pre‐transfer institution. This study suggests the need to examine sense of community in the transfer process. Results have implications for higher education literatures and for research and practice aimed at helping individuals engage with environments.