College Transition Initiative

Welcome to the blog of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s (CPYU) College Transition Initiative (CTI). This site contains commentary on transitional issues, exploring research, trends and college student culture. For more information visit:

My Photo
Location: Elizabethtown, PA, United States

The transition from high school to college is a difficult one, and yet, it is a transition that is often overlooked. This site is to help college bound students, parents, and youth workers stay up to date on the latest research and trends in regards to college transition. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Join the conversation!

Monday, January 09, 2006


I have added a suggested reading section on the CTI webpage. I plan to recommend books to both parents and youth workers as well as students entering college. I am still working on the latter, but I have made some recommendations to the former. Of course, this is not a complete list, and I plan to add (and perhaps take away) more books as I go. I could really use your help.
Do you have any books to recommend to parents or youth workers that will help them as they guide students through the transition from high school to college?

As I created this list I was driven by two things. First, I was looking for books that painted a realistic picture of what college life is like. It’s difficult to prepare students for the transition if you don’t know much about the road ahead. Second, I looked for books that directly address parents and/or those charged with helping students navigate the “world of the university.” Keep these two things in mind as you make recommendations.

Here’s my current list (the suggested reading section on the CTI webpage offers fuller reviews):

The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior During the University Years, Steven Garber. Dr. Garber is a friend of mine and I may get some flak for not suggesting this book to college bound students, but, from my experience, it can be a difficult read for high school seniors. Fabric is a valuable book for parents, pastors, youth workers, campus ministers and all others who hope to see students enter adulthood with firm convictions and the resolve to live those convictions in the world.

My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, Rebekah Nathan (pseudonym). This is a unique look into campus life through the eyes of a college professor who actually enrolled in her university as a freshman. That’s right. This professor with fifteen years of teaching experience moved into a dormitory, scheduled a full load of classes, and immersed herself into student life in order to better understand students. This will help parents and youth workers better understand college student culture.

Binge: What Your College Student Won’t Tell You: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess, Barret Seaman. “Parents can learn a lot that will help them prepare for the years just ahead when their child will be off someplace that in all likelihood will become part of his or her future identity. For those baby boomers whose vision of college life remains fixed in the sixties and seventies, I hope to disabuse you of many of those images. It’s a different world today, and you need to know which way those differences cut for your child.” If you’re looking for a realistic description of college life in America, Binge is a good place to start.

College Bound: What Christian Parents Need to Know About Helping Their Kids Choose a College, Thomas Shaw. “Every fall three million students enter their senior year of high school and six million parents panic… Helping your teen choose the right college can be one of the most rewarding and meaningful journeys you take together.” This book will walk you through the process step by step.

I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe. I hesitate to recommend this book: all of the partying, sex, foul language. But then I realized: this is a depiction of college life in the 21st century! This fictional work by social novelist Tom Wolfe captures the reality of what it's like for those who choose to make dangerous decisions during their college years. It is eye-opening and revealing. (You can read my favorite review of Wolfe’s book by former Duke University chaplain, William Willimon, here.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home