UC Davis has taken strides towards reducing the difficulties of transferring from community colleges by welcoming newly admitted transfer students with a variety of programs.
The recently opened center for Transfer, Reentry and Veteran Students (TRV) located at 1210 Dutton seeks to do exactly this, reaching out to new students and working to ease their transition into the University. The center provides services for traditional junior college and parent students as well as those students returning from military service.
“We’re a one-stop shop,” said Student Transfer Coordinator Roselind Brown. “We give drop-in advising, resource referrals, academic and social workshops to get students acquainted with the University, scholarships, a study lounge and even free printing.”
University Registrar Frank Wada said the transfer center will serve as a landing place for new students, and have both immediate and long-term impacts.
“It will be a huge benefit for future students, and should have a very positive rolling effect,” Wada said. “We’re definitely excited [because this has been] long overdue.”
The center provides information, counseling, work and internship opportunities, as well as a means for similarly situated students to network amongst themselves – the TRV’s Facebook page and Twitter updates help interested students stay connected and informed about upcoming events.
“Peers are very important, especially at the beginning, and a lot of these services rely on peers,” said Phil Knox, Assistant Director of the TRV Center. “You can relax when you know a place to go.”
According to Wada, the TRV students are in many ways comparable to freshmen, encountering similar difficulties upon entering the University but performing academically on par with the rest of the undergraduate population once they become acclimated. This can be somewhat more difficult for transfer students, however, since they miss out on the freshman and sophomore experiences.
“There is a sort of ‘transfer shock,’ going from the semester to quarter system,” Wada said. “Like any transition, it can be stressful and make students nervous. They need to relax, but still hit the ground running … that’s why we have the transfer center.”
UC Davis has taken in roughly 2,250 transfer students this quarter, 80 percent of which attended the UCD Transfer Services’ summer orientation. In addition, Student Housing now provides guaranteed housing for transfer students that need it. The influx of new transfer students comes in part due to UC Davis’ Transfer Opportunity Program (TOP).
“UCD has really been at the forefront for reaching out to students,” Wada said. “The TOP program has been especially important for helping students narrow their goals and make the transition easier.”
TOP is UC Davis’ contribution towards easing the transfer admissions process for community college students. Counselors from the program regularly visit 18 Northern California community colleges to articulate admissions and major requirements and educate potential students on financial aid, housing and internships. The counselors also work towards implementing the Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAGs), which are agreements that students sign promising them admission one year in advance contingent on their successful fulfillment of the agreed-upon major and transfer and requirements.
The TAGs have been successful in facilitating the transfer process for students in participating schools by pushing for more standardized transfer requirements and identifying the best route for students, Wada said. However he believes that the challenge in deciding one’s major and school is a natural part of the college experience.
“One of the great strengths of California colleges is that each college provides unique options and something special … undergrads all end up having unique non-academic learning experiences,” Wada said. “Standardization would require all of them to be the same, and this would not be unique [nor] possible.”
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