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:

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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, October 30, 2006

New Articles Online

As you probably know, CPYU’s website is continually being updated. Recently, a few articles have been put on the CTI Articles section that might interest you. They’re written by yours truly.

One is entitled Conversations for the College Bound and suggests conversation partners that college bound students should pursue. You can read it here.

The second one is called The Lion the Witch and the College Campus. It features an interview with renowned C.S. Lewis scholar, David C. Downing. Dr. Downing discusses issues Christian students face when transitioning to a secular campus. You can read the article here.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Freshman 15 Loses Some Weight

It looks like the “freshman 15,” the infamous fifteen extra pounds that college freshman supposedly put on during their first year of college, is actually more like 8 pounds. See, this is why you shouldn’t do research. “Freshman 15” kind of roles off the tongue: both words are two syllables and begin with the letter f. “Freshman 8” is awkward. And, it’s more like 7.9. Hey kids, watch for the freshman 7.9 this year. That’s just confusing.

Anyway, the new data that keeps us from having fun was reported by USA Today on Monday. The article explains a recent study conducted by the Obesity Society. From the article entitled Freshman 15 drops some pounds:

“Although the freshman-year weight gain is less than thought, nutritionists are not applauding. They still fear these young adults are laying the groundwork for heavy adulthood by succumbing to the temptation of unlimited and unsupervised food choices.

‘The first year of college is a vulnerable time for students,’ says lead researcher Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University Medical School in Providence. ‘While most are not gaining the Freshman 15, many are gaining weight and aren't taking it off.’”

The article mentions the abuse of freedom, the ability for students to eat whatever they want, whenever they want (which is such a weird thing, the more I think about it), and it discusses how students fail to exercise. Now that I think of it, it’s kind of surprising to me that you don’t hear of lawsuits against college cafeterias. Think about it: there’s gotta be someone to blame here.

And, as my good friend and co-worker Chris Wagner pointed out in an email: “I think perhaps they've overlooked the possibility that eating disorders/body image issues could be a cause for the average decrease in weight gain.” I agree.

You can read the entire article here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Type of Students Are We Developing: The State of Our Seniors

Kara Powell, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Center for Youth and Family Ministry (CYFM) at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is currently heading up CYFM’s College Transition Project which has two goals: (1) to better understand what happens to students when they transition from youth group life into college/young adult life and (2) to identify the components of youth group life that seem to be associated with a healthy, or positive, transition into college.

The research efforts have been very helpful to my work with the College Transition Initiative. Dr. Powell is really working hard to provide youth workers with statistical data that can help to paint a more accurate picture of how well youth groups are preparing teenagers for the rest of their lives.

Recently, Dr. Powell has released some of the findings of CYFM’s research in an article entitled “What Type of Students Are We Developing? The State of Our Seniors.” Dr. Powell explains:

"The board of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group representing 60 denominations and dozens of ministries, recently passed a resolution deploring “the epidemic of young people leaving the evangelical church.” Given that some denominations estimate that over 50% of their youth group graduates fall away from either their faith or their faith communities upon entering college, we can’t keep patting high school seniors… on the back on graduation Sunday, hand them a gift Bible, and hope for the best. Through the CYFM College Transition Project, we’re hoping to arrive at research-based answers to the tough questions that not only plague seniors after they graduate, but also youth workers concerned about students falling away from the faith."

You can read the entire article here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Study says students love selves

Here is an interesting story concerning college students. Supposedly current students are more narcissistic than ever. This is according to a study being done by W. Keith Campbell, a University psychology professor. The following comes from, an independent student newspaper at the University of Georgia:

Checking Facebook profiles or MySpace accounts, pondering what to wear to class or stacking resumes may sound routine for many college students. But one University professor thinks it’s a sign that students today are different than their predecessors.

College students today are more narcissistic than any previously studied generation according to trends W. Keith Campbell, a University psychology professor, has observed in his ongoing study on narcissism among young adults.

There has been a significant change in self-perception since the 1960s, Campbell said.
“About every indicator is that people are getting more self-absorbed,” he said.

You can read the rest the article here.