Eagle Experience: transfer preparation events ease transition to UMW
By KATIE HIPPLE
Coming to college as a freshman is not the only path available. Transferring is another affordable way to get a college degree. Students can go to a community college to obtain general education credits and then transfer to another university, or they can transfer to another four-year university that is a better fit than the one they initially attended.
I am a transfer student and started my college journey at Thomas Nelson Community College in the spring of 2017. I took a multitude of classes in biology, math, foreign language and English. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the community college, but always knew I wanted to transfer to UMW. Once I completed my first year, I started the process of transferring. It included sending in an application and essay along with signed forms from all my current teachers with my grades.
It took a few months before I found out I was accepted to UMW. As soon as I was accepted, I was welcomed by the staff and received countless emails about orientations and what to expect upon arrival to campus a few months later. I was granted the same timeliness and attentiveness as returning students.
UMW has a Guaranteed Admission Agreement with the Virginia Community College System and Richard Bland College. If a student earns their associate degree at a community college with a GPA of 3.25, they are guaranteed admission to UMW.
As transfer students, we were expected to attend an orientation. It gave us a better understanding of what was expected of us and gave us some tools to help us prepare to move in the fall. We had an opportunity to meet some new people and make some connections.
The UMW website helped by preparing us with a checklist for everything a transfer student should need. There is also a transfer guide listed to help navigate which of your credits will transfer before even getting to UMW.
As transfer students, we were asked to attend seminars and workshops in the days leading up to the beginning of fall semester. These included workshops with professors, sessions to learn more about your major, and honor convocation.
“Although I have always worked with transfer students, recently I was promoted to Director of Transfer Advising. In that role I oversee and coordinate academics for transfer students. I work with the Office of Admissions to do pre-admission advising for potential transfer students,” said Charles Tate.
“In particular, we have established the Transfer Semester Experience to introduce transfer students to UMW. Staff members are willing to volunteer their time to lead sessions. Leading these sessions we have senior faculty members, like Dan Hubbard, and senior administrators, like Tim O’Donnell, the Academic Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success…Since starting this program we have seen a measurable drop in the number of transfer students on probation.”