A four-year road map for transfer students

Transfer students lose nearly half of the credits they attempt to bring to their new institution—and that's just one of the many barriers they face.

In an effort to better support transfer students, Dickinson College has established a four-year roadmap that clearly outlines each stage of the transfer student's journey. Tara Fischer, Dickinson's associate dean of academic advising and college dean and coordinator of the community college partnership initiative, shares details about the roadmap in a recent post for The EvoLLLution.

Here are the milestones for each year of Dickinson's transfer student roadmap:

1: Year One (Community College)

Dickinson works with Honors Program faculty and advisors at community colleges to identify and prepare students who would be a good fit for the transfer program. Advisors help interested students choose courses that will set them up for success at Dickinson and in their fields of study. Officials also encourage students to visit Dickinson's campus—and even stay overnight.

2: Year Two (Community College)

By now, Dickinson officials can narrow their efforts to the prospective students who have shown clear interest by, for example, choosing a major; engaging with faculty, advisors, or the transfer college dean; or visiting campus. Officials connect prospective transfer students with a support network that includes student development staff members, coaches, mentors, and peers. They also help students articulate their career goals and how transferring to Dickinson will help them accomplish those goals.

3: Year Three (Dickinson College)

Once students arrive on campus, they have already built strong relationships with their support system on campus over the course of the previous two years.

Shortly after enrolling at Dickinson, students meet with advisors and faculty members to discuss their major and other academic decisions. Each group of incoming transfer students meet with an on-campus mentor together twice per semester. The transfer college dean helps students connect with campus clubs, activities, and organizations. Finally, Dickinson officials offer special orientation sessions to transfer students, include transfer students in freshmen rites of passage, and house transfer students together.

4: Year Four (Dickinson College)

Fourth-year students are highly engaged in campus life and leadership positions. Often, they serve as mentors or help program officials with recruiting future transfer students or with evaluating the transfer program itself (Fischer, The EvoLLLution, 10/18). 

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