The University of Minnesota (UMN) is investing more resources to better support its growing population of transfer students, Zoe Peterson reports for the Star Tribune.
About a third of undergraduates at UMN are transfer students. In recent years, the university has admitted fewer freshmen, while the senior class continues to expand.
But while great in numbers, transfer students are still faced with obstacles such as limited access to on-campus housing, lower financial aid, and the pressure to graduate on time, says Robert McMaster, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.
"It's tough. It's really tough for them to do it (in) two or three years. That's why we've often found that the transfer experience is not as good as the freshman experience," McMaster says. "The real goal is to enhance the transfer experience."
Four reasons you should recruit transfer students
According to McMaster, students are increasingly transferring to UMN because of three C's: cost, confusion, and competition. UMN is working to lower these barriers to access and make the university more welcoming to transfer students.
Since 2000, average ACT scores and high school GPAs have increased in every UMN college that accepts new freshmen. However, transfer students are only required to submit their college GPAs.
Another way UMN is helping transfer students is through targeted advising. Carmen Kurdziel, a transfer adviser in the College of Liberal Arts, acknowledges that the advising process is different for transfer students than it is for first-time freshmen. Transfer advisers at UMN connect students with resources and opportunities as soon as possible to help them participate in life at UMN right away.
Build transfer students pathways to success
"We sort of flipped our program on its head," says Beth Lingren Clark, assistant dean and director of Orientation and First-Year Programs. "It's the validation of the fact that we have a lot of students here, and they all have different needs, and we need to do better in meeting those needs" (Peterson, Star Tribune, 5/9).
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