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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Submit a Manuscript

The Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition shares empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies are invited.

Invitation to Submit

The Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition publishes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods empirically based studies on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education. Appropriate topics for the Journal include:

  • Explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences—including outcomes related to success, learning, and developmentof students at a range of transition points throughout the college years. These transitions include, but are not limited to, the first college year, the transfer transition, the sophomore year, the senior year and transition out of college, and the transition to graduate work. 
  • Transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students)
  • Explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to any of the transitions identified above 

The Journal does not publish manuscripts describing program evaluations or assessments. Manuscripts of this type will not be forwarded for peer review.

Readers include educators with diverse research backgrounds; therefore, all statistical material should be presented as clearly and succinctly as possible. It is important that all relevant methodological information is included in the Method section; however, the article focus should be on the findings, the significance of those findings, and their implications for practice, policy, and/or future research.

Authors are invited to submit an electronic copy of an original manuscript of 15-20 double-spaced typewritten pages (approximately 3,700 to 5,000 words), accompanied by an abstract of 100-150 words in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition). References, tables, and figures are not counted against word limits. Authors' names and institutions should not appear on the manuscript.

Manuscript submissions are handled online via PeerTrack. If you are a first-time user of this system, you will first need to register. Once you have created an account, you can upload your manuscript to the Journal's online review system.

For more information, contact Dr. Forrest Lane, edito at or


Characteristics of a Strong Manuscript

Before being forwarded for peer review, manuscripts undergo an initial review by the editor, who determines their appropriateness for the Journal using two broad criteria: (a) Does the research focus on a topic or issue related to the content of the Journal? and (b) Is the manuscript a report of empirical research? Manuscripts describing program assessments or evaluations will not be forwarded for peer review.

Reviewers will evaluate manuscripts for acceptance to the Journal along the following lines:

Overall Evaluation

  • Evidence of new findings or ideas
  • Potential contribution to the study of college student transitions
  • Evidence of a compelling rationale for the research study
  • Clarity of writing
  • Currency and relevance of citations
  • Appropriateness and clarity of tables and graphs
  • Evidence of grounding in relevant theory or concepts
  • Usefulness of recommendations for practice and future research

Methodology Review

  • Clarity of hypotheses and research questions
  • Adequacy of descriptions of sample and/or sampling methods
  • Clarity of descriptions of measures and treatment procedures
  • Appropriateness of research design for the study’s hypotheses or research questions
  • Appropriateness of statistical tests OR qualitative analyses used
  • Clarity of presentation of findings
  • Congruence of discussion/recommendation section with the results
  • Degree that results are situated in the context of previous studies/professional literature 

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