Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



It is not difficult to imagine that transfer students might have specific experiences and needs when it comes to information literacy (IL) and the library, but it may not be obvious to libraries what those experiences and needs are. Rather than rely on our assumptions, we undertook an assessment project intended to investigate the IL skills and library experiences of transfer students. This allowed us to uncover the ways in which the transfer students at our institution can be better supported by the library.

In this chapter, we will describe our process for collecting information about the transfer student experience, which included assessing student work with an IL rubric and surveying students. We will share what we learned from the information we collected, how we applied this to our library’s practices, and ways that the library can work with academic programs to assist in supporting transfer students.

This investigation took place at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), a public, comprehensive, Hispanic-Serving Institution with an enrollment of just under 7,000 FTEs. In Fall 2019, 46 percent of our undergraduates were transfer students, with 93 percent coming from community colleges and the remainder transferring from other types of institutions. Our student population is 51 percent first generation, 50 percent underrepresented minorities, and 32 percent low income.


Preprint version. Final publication available in Transfer Student Success: Advancing Outcomes from the Library (pp. 123-131), by ALA Editions.