Connecting Information Literacy Instruction with Transfer Student Success

Mark Robison, Valparaiso University



This paper aims to investigate the academic library’s role in supporting transfer student success, specifically by providing information literacy (IL) instruction. This paper examines whether IL instruction contributes to a transfer student’s sense of academic integration.


The author designed and distributed a survey to incoming undergraduate transfer students at Valparaiso University, gathering information about students’ IL instruction experiences, their attitudes and their preferences for receiving information about the library at their new university. Inferential statistics were used to test correlations between IL instruction and students’ attitudes.


In all, 38 students completed the survey. The t-test results show significantly higher levels of confidence among those students who had participated in formal IL instruction. IL instruction is shown neither to contribute to transfer students’ sense of academic integration nor to benefit students during the transfer process. Respondents believed that transfer students do need information about their new library. They preferred small group settings or private communications for receiving this information, and the critical window is the period from when they arrive on campus through the second week of class.

Practical implications

This study provides guidance into librarians’ outreach efforts to transfer students, including the desirability, format and timing of this information.

This paper is the first to situate IL instruction as a factor in transfer success.