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

Publication Details

Social involvement and commuter students: The first-year student voice,

Author(s): Krause, K. D.

Citation: Krause, K. D. (2007). Social involvement and commuter students: The first-year student voice,. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 19(1), 27-47.



This qualitative study explores the nature of undergraduate commuter students' social involvement with peers during the transitional first six months of their university experience. Focus group interviews with 46 participants provided a student perspective of the role of social interactions in students' transition to university life. Findings point to the importance of small-group, face-to-face discussions as a significant socializing vehicle, particularly in the early university experience. The role of information and communication technologies in students' social interactions emerged as a key theme, with many expressing frustration about the use of web-based resources with insufficient human interaction. The study contributes to understandings of the role and nature of commuter students' peer interactions during the early months of their transition to higher education. It has implications for academic leaders, policy makers, and practitioners who are serious about understanding and supporting the particular needs of commuter students in the first year.


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