Belonging & intent to transfer


Hix, Laura Jan 07, 2020
Posted in group: Wellbeing Collaborative
Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year and beginning of the spring semester! One of the most common questions we are asked about the Wellbeing Assessment is: What are you finding? 

In fact, our 2019 Wellbeing Assessment data is yielding very interesting findings—some of which are visible right in the online Power BI report that 2019 partner schools received. For instance, we are seeing some descriptive evidence of a relationship between students’ sense of belonging and their self-reported likelihood of transferring.

1329 students (~11% of our national sample of 11,920) reported that they were Slightly, Moderately, or Very Likely to transfer from their university before graduating. Looking at the Wellbeing Snapshot, students in this subgroup have lower-than-average wellbeing scores across most dimensions and positive subjective wellbeing outcomes. The outcome that is the furthest below the national average is Belonging, with the average score for this subgroup coming in at 6.4 points below the national average (over half of a standard deviation).

Belonging & Intent to Transfer Post Picture 1

Certain Belonging pathways may be particularly salient for students who report that they are likely to transfer. For instance, 50% of likely transfers agree that they would have to change themselves in order to fit in at their school (BELONG_5), compared to only 32% in the total sample. Students who report being likely to transfer are also less likely to agree that they are having belonging-supportive experiences. Only 55% of likely transfers agree that their academic experiences have helped them feel like they belong (BELONG_9), compared to 76% in the total sample. Similarly, only 52% of likely transfers agreed that campus programs and events contribute to their sense of belonging (BELONG_10), compared to 71% in the total sample.


Are these results consistent with trends you see in your own school?

If you’re interested in exploring literature on the relationship between wellbeing and retention, our Access Resources page provides a downloadable list of citations to help you get started.

Gaining insights on student subgroups such as those who are likely to transfer is possible for Wellbeing Assessment Plus users in their online Power BI report. There is still time to register your school for the 2020 Wellbeing Assessment survey at the Core (free) or Plus level. We have extended our introductory rate (50% off) for Wellbeing Assessment Plus through January 30th.

Laura Hix

Research Associate
Wellbeing Collaborative
Wake Forest University