Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

Thomas Miller, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Robert Sullins, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Daphne Thomas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Young, Ed.D.


Attrition, Retention, Reverse Transfer, Traditional Transfer, Blog-Based Interviews


Swirling is an emergent transfer pattern among college students. Swirlers are students who may have participated in a combination of reverse transfer, lateral transfer, or traditional transfer patterns. The available research on swirling has been predominately quantitative in nature. This study was designed to obtain qualitative data on multi-institutional transfers from a qualitative perspective.

A heuristic phenomenological approach grounded in the transformational learning theory method was used to obtain data. The data were obtained via an online blog-based interview. The interview revealed six themes in regards to why students swirl. This study also addressed time-to-degree and outcomes associated with students who swirl.