The Impact of Transfer Shock in a Dental Hygiene Program at a Four-Year Health-Sciences University

Claire Tucker, Michael Miller

Abstract


Health-sciences medical universities that host dental hygiene programs typically work on the model of offering upper division coursework, meaning that they enroll only students who complete their first two years at a different institution. The current study investigated the impact of ‘transfer shock’ on students who transferred into a dental hygiene program from community colleges compared to those transferring from four-year universities. This included testing for differences between student grade point average and NBDHE pass rates for the two groups of transfer students. A total of 166 students who graduated from a dental hygiene program at a mid-southern health-sciences university from 2014-2018 were included in the study. The subjects were placed into two groups by the location of their lower division courses: community college or four-year university. Paired t-tests suggested the presence of transfer shock for both groups. First-attempt pass rates: 95.5%, with a program GPA of 3.12 for the community college group and 98%, with a program GPA of 3.27 for the four-year university group. Transfer shock did occur in the program in the study, so program administrators in dental hygiene academic units should be aware of the impact of transfer and help build bridges that support students to aid in their success.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v10i4.17604

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