The traditional college experience where students enter and graduate from the same institution has steadily over recent years. It is estimated that nearly one third of students change higher-education institutions. The economy, sky-rocketing tuition rates, and better marketing by community colleges are all factors. I don’t want to overlook that these transfers can also be initiated by family responsibilities, moving to a new area, or a desire for improved academic or social opportunities.
Whether the transfer is precipitated by an opportunity or a hardship, the process can be daunting. Here are 5 tips to help ease the transition and succeed in your new academic environment.
1. Talk with an advisor – Make sure your official transcript is properly evaluated and that you receive recommendations from an advisor in your major before registering for classes.
2. Seek out a transfer services – Many schools are adjusting to student mobility by hiring Transfer coordinators and hosting transfer fairs and special programs for transfer students. This can be invaluable in helping you get acclimated to the culture of the institution and also meet other students in the same situation.
3. Seek out other transfer students – Being the new kid on the block can be tough. You can ease the transition by connecting with other students who have already been in your position or who you can learn and grow through this experience with.
4. Get involved on campus – Eliminate isolation, overwhelm, and uncertainty by finding out all your institution as to offer academically, socially, emotionally, and professionally. Getting involved isn’t just about keeping you in the know it is about making a difference.
5. Keep the end goal in mind – No matter the reason you decided to change schools staying focused on your goal is essential. Things may not go according to your plans or the transition may be more difficult than you imagined and it is easier to maintain your momentum and motivation when you remain focused on the reason you enrolled in your new institution.
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.
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